In the 1950s, the lion population was 450,000 strong. Today there may be as few as 20000 lions left. And if the situation doesn’t change dramatically, we could be looking at extinction within 10 to 20 years.a study, and early results show that the deaths to lions right now is a mixed bag of causes, starting with trophy or safari hunting and cattle and lion conflicts, where herders retaliate once lions kill cattle. Trade in lion bones is becoming the next big thing. South Africa has released 1,000 lions as skeletons into the market, and that creates a market in itself. Habitat erosion and destruction due to farming, slash and burn, is another issue.
Zoos are largely housing for representations of animals that look like the real thing, and live and smell and breathe like them, but are not. A fat lion lying in a zoo enclosure waiting for chopped up cow meat once a day is not the same as that animal with amber shoulder blades pumping mechanically through the tall grass downwind of the buffalo, stopping, looking, snapping a look at eight other sets of black tipped ears ahead, in a silent signal adapted by evolution for the hunt. It’s not the same as that animal that shoots out of the grass and grasps on to a buffalo in full flight, nearly a thousand pounds of muscle, and brings it to its knees with only its teeth and claws.
This needs to stop!