World Lion Day was founded in 2013 by Rae Kokeš and David Youldon from the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (ALERT).
World Lion Day is the first global campaign to celebrate the importance of protecting the lion worldwide. Since the dawn of man, the lion has played an integral role in our lives and our planet. To lose the lion would be to lose a part of our global heritage.
World Lion Day was created to act as an awareness-building vehicle. The campaign aims to highlight the plight of the African and Asiatic lion whilst also demonstrating our shared global heritage of the species. The lion plays a significant role biologically, culturally, symbolically, economically and more. It is hoped that the recognition of the species’ worldwide importance will result in more active conservation worldwide.
An amazing foundation aiding in Lion conservation is The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary which has a mission to provide a self-sustaining lion sanctuary for the purposes of wild species preservation through education, awareness and funding, especially pertaining to the rapid decline of large carnivores in Africa due to habitat loss, human-predator conflict, unscrupulous hunting, disease the illegal trade of endangered species.
The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary transforms the way humans think, interact and behave towards large carnivores. The sanctuary’s ultimate goal is to minimize the number of large carnivores being kept in captivity and to highlight the direct link between the cub petting industry and the ‘canned’ hunting industry, by educating the unsuspecting public to the horrors associated with this unscrupulous practice. Ultimately they would like to see both practices outlawed. The sanctuary aims to maximize efforts towards keeping carnivores in their natural habitats and is currently home not only to lions, but spotted hyena, striped hyena and black leopards.
Lion populations occupy less than 20% of its former range in Africa. Numbers are estimated between 15k-30k. More recently scientists have started to settle on the number of 20k, however more research is needed in verify the exact numbers. The decline at this rate means we will have no more lions left in the wild in as little as 20 years.
The Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary provides a home for their animals to live out full, healthy lives, in an open and natural environment, by providing cutting edge enrichment programs and health care. Education of both adults and children are at the bedrock of how the sanctuary aims to accomplish its goals via documentaries, films, social media and eco-tourism.
It is through education that the sanctuary aims to be able to transform attitudes and misconstrued ideas of carnivores, and illuminate the desperate plight of the lion and their carnivore cousins.
To Support Kevin’s Mission, Please Make A Donation at: http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/
Unfortunately, Recent studies have shown that lions exist in 67 areas across the continent; but only 9 countries have at least 1000 individuals and 5 countries are thought to have lost their populations entirely since 2002. Since the recognition of 86 Lion Conservation Units in 2006, following the IUCN Regional Lion Conservation Workshops, 18 have been declared extinct in countries such as Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Malawi.
In West and Central Africa, populations are deemed ‘Regionally Critically Endangered’; the remaining 2800 individuals continue to decline at an alarming rate.
In Kenya, a country so nostalgic of the regal lion and still considered a top wildlife destination; lions are perishing by 100 individuals each year due to severe human-wildlife conflict. Lion conservationists fear that lions could go extinct in the country within a matter of years.
Should populations continue to decline and the magnitude of threats continue to intensify, the extinction of the African lion is imminent.
How do you get involved?
Hold your own event and create awareness and/or raise funds for an organization of your choosing. Many dedicated organizations can be found on the World Lion Day Supporters page.
Donate to many of the dedicated organizations working to save lions worldwide.
For More Information visit: http://www.worldlionday.com and to get involved in World Lion Day global events on Aug.10th, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org