Lions need our help too…!

So, I wrote about the plight of elephants last week. http://wp.me/p112Dn-jk

And I sent the blogpost to my sister Shivani to read. She said “I think it’s great! I’ll watch Prince Williams speech but, also spare a thought for lions. The number of elephants we have in Kenya – is the total number of lions we have in Africa!!! People need to start talking about lions at some point. We need a Lion Prince!”

And yes, she is right. The King of the Jungle is declining so fast – that soon he will be no more. He needs a “Prince”.
But what does that mean exactly?

First, let’s look at some shocking facts.

• Did you know that there are less lions in Africa then there are rhinos.
• Africa has less than 30,000 lions left. That is a 90% decline of lion population in 75 years.
• Guess how many lions live in Kenya? an estimate from 2009 suggests that there are only 2000 lions left in Kenya. That is truly horrifying.

Shivani runs a lion conservation project in Samburu, Kenya – Ewaso Lions http://ewasolions.org/Samburu lions

One of the major issues that the Ewaso Lions team in Kenya are struggling with are that the human population is increasing – and therefore they are encroaching on protected areas – taking land from the lions and creating habitat loss for wildlife.

An eye for an eye – when a lion kills a cow, the herders shoot, spear or poison the lion.
The team lost 2 lion cubs this summer – both were poisoned INSIDE a protected area. This was a huge blow to the team, as each and everyone of their small population of 40 lions is so precious. Each lion is a gift in its own right.

In some parts of Africa, people have no food so they put snares out for bushmeat, and lions get caught in these snares and will die from their wounds. A frightening practice in Southern Africa means that the lion bone trade is now becoming an issue – another false belief by the Chinese that this has medicinal properties.

And then you have the hugely controversial issue of hunting as highlighted by the killing of Cecil the Lion which caused uproar this summer. This is just the tip of the iceberg – poorly managed hunting practices are so widespread and mired in greed, corruption and mismanagement. We heard about Cecil’s death – but make no mistake – he was not the only lion to die on that day – many other lions lost their lives on that very day too.

Sir David Attenborough gives a very sobering talk about the decline in population of certain species on our planet. He talks about increased human populations – encroaching on the natural world – taking land from animals, polluting the seas and creating global warming. We as a species are competing with all other species for land, food, water – life.
http://www.populationmatters.org/attenborough-talk/

I am in awe of my sister Shivani and the work that she does. Here she talks about the work that her conservation organisation does – it is truly inspiring to see the difference that the Ewaso Lions team are making.
The team work hard to educate the local population promoting coexistence between lions and people through a number of their community programmes such as their flagship Warrior Watch, and their newest programme Mama Simba.

For our part, what can each of us do?
Well, we can keep talking about lions. Spread awareness. Get involved. Help those working in lion conservation. Perhaps we each can be a “Prince” in our own right and do something small to help the King of the Jungle.

You could start today by donating to Ewaso Lions. More info here: http://ewasolions.org/

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