World Lion Day – August 10

World Lion Day - August 10
Reading Time: 2 minutes

World Lion Day – August 10. Image: Unsplash

Reading Time: 2 minutes

World Lion Day

World Lion Day is celebrated on August 10 every year. This day serves to raise awareness about the decline of lion populations. World Lion Day was started in 2013 by Dereck and Beverly Joubert of the Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to big cats. Dereck and Beverly partnered with National Geographic and came up with the Big Cat Initiative, where they would protect and preserve the remaining lion species in the world.

As a result of trophy hunting and poaching, urbanization, agriculture and human settlement expansion, the lion population continues to decrease. Many lions are living outside of protected areas in areas that have little grazing spaces and food resources. The fragmentation of their habitat makes lions increasingly isolated from each other, making it hard to breed. Researchers estimate that between 30,000 and 100,000 lions are left on the planet. Over the last four decades, the lion population has declined by fifty percent.

Under the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the African lion is listed as “Vulnerable”, while the Asiatic lion is classified as “Endangered”.

Lions are important for our environment because they play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of their habitats. Lions will regulate prey species by eating herbivorous animals like zebras and wildebeests. Without lions, the herbivores would overgraze the grasses and, in turn, would cause soil erosion and other environmental issues.

World Lion Day is a day to advocate for stronger wildlife protection laws and policies that would protect lions and their habitats. This day also encourages local communities to participate in lion conservation and promote coexistence between lions and humans.

Here are a few ways you can celebrate World Lion Day:

  • Visit or volunteer at a local refuge or zoo
  • Learn about the issues of commercial lion breeding and trophy hunting
  • Make a donation to charities or foundations working to protect lions and their habitats (i.e. Big Cat Rescue or WWF)
  • Refuse to buy lion products or other animal skin products
  • Refuse to book tours with travel companies that keep lions in captivity
  • Use social media hashtags, posts and videos to raise awareness about lions
  • Watch a nature documentary or movie about lions (i.e. The Lion King, Roar: Lions of the Kalahari)

Fun Facts

  • Lions are the second largest cat in the world, behind the Asian tiger.
  • The average male lion weighs approximately 418 pounds, and the average female lion weighs approximately 277 pounds.
  • In 1758, Carl Linnaeus invented “Felis Leo” as the scientific name for lions.
  • Most lions live in Africa, just below the Sahara Desert
  • A lion’s mane will change colour as it grows older – from light to dark
  • Lions will sleep for at least 20 hours a day

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