Urgent action needed to save the lion, king of the jungle in the wild, from slaughter

Urgent action needed to save the lion, king of the jungle in the wild, from slaughter

The king of the jungle could be deposed and vanish from the wild forever unless action is taken to halt its slaughter, a new book warns.

The alert comes from wildlife photographers who captured more than 70 images of the majestic beasts in national parks and reserves in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

0 Suzi Eszterhas Remembering LionsBJPG
As lion numbers continue to decline, trophy hunting, poorly regulated and illegal hunts have catastrophic impacts on whole prides (Image: Suzi Eszterhas)

Remembering Lions was masterminded by British snapper Margot Raggett and aims to raise money and awareness to help protect the species.

One pic shows 10 young lions desperate for food after losing their male protectors. Africa’s most famous lion Scar strikes a pose in another and a tender moment between lioness and cub is caught in a third snap.

And in the same reserve, Kenya’s Maasai Mara, a cub meets his dad for the first.

Lion numbers have halved in 25 years, with 20,000 left in Africa and a small pocket in India. Margot said: “The rapid reduction is one of the least-known stories in conservation because the slaughter happens out of sight. Poorly regulated and illegal hunts can have catastrophic impacts.”

Jonathan Scott, zoologist and host of BBC1’s Big Cat Live, added: “There can be no excuses, only shame if we allow the most iconic big cat to disappear from our planet.

“We must act now if future generations are to enjoy the sound of wild lions roaring at dawn.”

0 Marlon du Toit Remembering LionsBJPG
The new book featuring stunning and rare shots of lions in the wild aims to raise awareness and vital funds of the animals’ dire plight (Image: Marlon du Toit)
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Prides are in decline, with the population of lions in the wild plummeting by half in the last 25 years  (Image: Margot Raggett)
0 Chad Cocking Remembering LionsJPG
A rare white lion at a drinking hole, captured in the book by photographer Chad Cocking (Image: Chad Cocking)

This article was first published by The Mirror on 19 October 2019.

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