Animal Activists Demand For Protection Of Lions To Avoid Extinction.

Lions day

Today is World Lion Day Photo/Animal World


KAMPALA, Uganda|SHIFTMEDIA| Today August 10 is the World Lions Day, but as the world marks this day, the World Animal Protection agency has warned that the King of the Jungle may soon be extinct if urgent measures are not taken.

Statistics from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) indicate that Africa’s lion population declined from 200,000 in the last century to the current 20,000. Lions exist in 26 African countries. The continent has lost about 90 percent of the carnivore from its original habitat.

According to Uganda Wildlife Authority, the organization has carried out two nationwide censuses on Uganda’s lions from 2007 to 2017. The census of 2007 to 2010 gave an estimate of about 408 lions while that of 2011 to 2017 showed an increase to 493 lions countrywide.

According to M/s Edith Kabesiime, the Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection, African lions are facing human and nature induced threats hence the need to prioritize their protection. “We have witnessed the population of lions in Africa declined in the last decades as human beings occupy their habitat,” said Kabesiime.

She noted that Climate change, removal from their habitats for entertainment, and poaching to satisfy the traditional medicine industry are some of the contributing factors to decline in wild lion populations. “Shrinking of prey base linked to massive hunting has increased their risk of death by starvation,” she said in a statement issued from Nairobi.

Conservation organizations believe lion populations in Uganda are stable but threats from habitat loss, snaring of prey for bushmeat, and human-lion conflict must be recognized and addressed immediately if the critically endangered species is to thrive.

Kabesiim said the lack of adequate basic animal welfare conditions, such as enough water, food, space, shelter, and medical care, is sadly a stark reality in most commercial breeding farms. “This has been propelled by the urge to make profits through wildlife trade,” she noted.

The African lion has been categorized by IUCN as a vulnerable species amid international trade in its claws, bones, and jaws to meet rising demand for traditional medicine and jewellery.

Wildlife trade is not sustainable. If anything, it is a recipe for ultimate extinction and possible outbreak of a future pandemic like what we are experiencing currently.

It is essential for an immediate action to be taken to protect and save lions from future extinction. A ban on international trade in lion’s products coupled with enforcement of laws to deter poaching will help reverse their declining numbers in Africa.

Tennyson Williams, World Animal Protection Country Director said:  “Policy makers need to consider a total ban on wildlife trade. There is need for a coordinated global action to advocate for it as a way of saving Africa’s wild Populations.”

Williams said at an individual level one should distance themselves from wildlife trade ultimately making it socially unacceptable. “If we learn anything from the current situation, it is that we need to leave wild animals where they belong – in the wild. We all have a responsibility to make a shift in our behaviour and attitudes towards animals that could save the lives of lions, other wildlife species, millions of people, and our economies,” he said.

This year’s World Lion Day is marked with keen interest in three objectives; The first is to raise awareness of the plight of the lion and the issues that the species faces. The second is to find ways to protect the big cat’s natural environment. And the third is to educate people on how to prevent human-wildlife conflicts. Humans and large species like cats can live in harmony together, but only if they understand how to do so.

Shift Media News

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