Aug 082017
 
Why Are Some African Lions 'White?'

The news about African lions is usually dire these days, as the species dwindles across its range. But Thiessen K. Musaah from Nakuru, Kenya, gave us a welcome break with his question about coat color. Why, he asked, are lions in South Africa’s Kruger National Park “fawn to golden white” while their kin in the […]

Jul 222016
 
What future is there for Africa’s lions?

In 1716, exactly three hundred years ago, Bostonians were the first Americans to lay eyes upon an African lion. George Washington was yet to be born and the concept of our nation was still 60 years away. According to the Boston News Letter, “All persons having the Curiosity of seeing the noble and Royal Beast […]

May 012016
 
Viral Photos Don't Show Lions Mating, Just Males Bonding

Earlier this week, we wrote that the mating lions seen in Botswana may have been a male and a maned lioness. Female African lions with manes are regularly seen in northern Botswana, where they may carry a genetic disposition toward the phenomenon. But Nicole Cambré, who recently photographed the lions on safari, provided National Geographic […]

Mar 242016
 
POLL: Should ‘canned’ lion hunting be banned?

The documentary Blood Lions exposes South Africa’s controversial “canned” lion hunting industry. In canned hunts, captive-bred, often hand-reared lions are confined in enclosed spaces on private hunting reserves, guaranteeing marksmen easy trophy heads in exchange for fees of up to $50,000. With approximately 8,000 “ranch” lions to draw on, South Africa’s hunt operators can make […]

Aug 202015
 
Lions Return to Rwanda for First Time Since Genocide’s Aftermath

Jes Gruner was excited when he told me over the phone that the lions had made their first kill. A week after their release into the Akagera National Park in the northeast of Rwanda, the lions took down a waterbuck on the lakeshore and were gorging themselves on the carcass. Gruner, the Park Manager of […]

Jun 162013
 
Why endangered species need conservation champions

Without heroic conservationists many of today’s most beloved species would be extinct: think of pandas, tigers, and elephants. By single-mindly focused on saving a particular species, these conservation champions bring much-needed research, publicity, and, most importantly, targeted actions to keep an imperiled animal from the brink. Through their own exuberance, these heroes also gather others […]

Feb 152013
 
Lion population falls 68 percent in 50 years

African lions, one of the most iconic species on the planet, are in rapid decline. According to a new study in Biodiversity Conservation, the African lion (Panthera leo leo) population has dropped from around 100,000 animals just fifty years ago to as few as 32,000 today. The study, which used high resolution satellite imagery to […]