DEDICATED TO CECIL THE LION
This week I thought it would be a good idea to provide you with a bit of information about lions. As we all know, lions have been up front and center lately due to the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe. So this post is dedicated to Cecil and all the wild lions of Africa.
The death of Cecil has people asking a lot of questions.
Are lions endangered?
How many are left in the wild?
What are people doing to protect the lion population?
What can I do?
I don’t have all the answers, but I will mention a number of organizations around the world that are trying their best to highlight the need to preserve the environment and the wildlife that lives within it. Let’s hope that this sad and horrible event will spur us forward to do our best to learn how to live in harmony with nature, not just for ourselves, but also for future generations.
Here’s to you Cecil, you will be missed!
Photo courtesy Andrew Loveridge/Wildlife Conservation Unit
There are approximately 30,000 lions in Africa. Since the 1950s, the African lion population has been reduced by half. In the 1940s, the population was approximately 450,000. As usual, expansion of farmland and general human encroachment are major threats.
Trophy hunters kill approximately 600 lions a year. What was it that made Cecil so different from all the others that were killed? First of all, he had a name and he was loved. Also, two biologists at Oxford University were studying him. At the age of six, Cecil was fitted with a collar so that Andrew Loveridge and David MacDonald could track him and learn more about lions by watching him. By following him they learned about lion’s social behavior, what they eat, where they drank and where they traveled.
The information they compiled helped them understand not only where lions went, it specifically told them where Cecil went within and outside national parks. The study also enabled the biologists to observe Cecil and his interactions with human populations. It was their hope that this information would ultimately help protect humans as well as Cecil and other lions. The collar they had placed around Cecil's neck helped piece together enough information about when, where and who killed Cecil.
There are two subspecies of lion, the African Lion and the Asiatic Lion. The Asiatic Lion is smaller than the African species and has a shorter mane. The Asiatic species is found in western India, and is critically endangered with known numbers being less than 400 in the wild.
To learn more about the Asiatic Lion, visit:
Photo courtesy of: http://www.asiaticlion.org
The African Lion is considered ‘vulnerable’ according to the IUCN*.
*IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature
The Massai, a tribe in southern Kenya, have become active in providing protection for the lion population where they live. The local people have always lived in accord with wildlife and are therefore well positioned to aid in ensuring the survival of lions.
To learn more about the Maasai and what they are doing to ensure survival of lions in the wild, visit: http://www.maasaiwilderness.org/our-programs/conservation/wildlife-protection/?gclid=CjwKEAjwovytBRCdxtyKqfL5nUISJACaugG1MRPSiSy0q2J9pLV2BgP7iYr2lcmpi6Fpep0B8GS9GRoCJlTw_wcB
What can you do? There are a number of conservation organizations you may want to consider. You may know that I direct my readers to Arkive.org for more information about the animals I mention in this blog. Arkive is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife around the globe and educating the public about it. (http://arkive.org)
Then there is the World Wildlife Federation. The WWF works to ensure the survival of species and educates the public by highlighting problems and ways in which we can solve them. https://www.worldwildlife.org
To learn more about conservation efforts visit:
I wanted to share this video with you. David Attenborough is an inspiration. He has done so much to bring attention to all types of animals around the globe and has provided that information in such a way that he captures our imagination and touches our hearts and minds.
Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s post. Again, I do hope that the tragic and senseless death of Cecil the Lion has outraged people enough that we will, in some small way, help highlight the plight of, not only the vulnerability of lion populations, but all wildlife. We share this planet with all its life forms and somehow we must find a way to live in harmony with it.
For me the below quote says it best. Animals aren’t just ‘something’ that we can use and abuse. They are individuals with individual personalities like people. Just because they can’t tell you HOW they feel, doesn’t mean that they DON’T have feelings.
Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza and The Gift of Sunderland
Middle Grade Fantasy Where Endangered Animal Heroes Roam the Pages!