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Is The African Lion On The Verge Of Extinction?

Aug 17, 2007
Experiencing an African Lion safari is just about the closest thing you'll get to a safari rush. Seeing the king of the beasts in their natural habitat, unhibited and carefree, can leave a lasting impression on even the most hard to please critic. But how much longer will the lion be around for safari seekers to study in the wild.

Believe it or not, this seemingly indestructible creature, whose demeanor exudes such strength and character, is dwindling in numbers so rapidly that at the current rate of decline, the lion may very well become just another statistic in the story of evolution.

Dwindling Lion Numbers

Once the lion roamed the wilds of Africa in numbers. Virtually unchallenged, they ruled with stealth like precision as the "top dogs" in the food chain. There were more than 200,000 lions worldwide two decades ago; now, their numbers have plummeted to under 25,000. An African lion safari in a decades time could literally mean visiting your local zoo and viewing them through iron bars and glass panels.

Did You Know?

African lions are naturally protected. Despite the fact that their numbers have decreased alarmingly through farming expansion and drought they are still a dangerous animal. Reports of people being mauled by lions are not uncommon.

Farming Vs. Lions

Currently, lions are confined mainly to wildlife and national parks as programs are put into place to halt their slide into oblivion. Still, Africa's national parks are an ideal way for the lion to maintain some semblance of it's natural environment and more importantly, they are safe from their biggest enemy, human progress. You see, there has been a clash of difference between lions and the progress of African farming. To put it bluntly, one of them has to go. Unfortunately for fauna enthusiasts, it's the lion.

Lions have been shot in great numbers in recent years as the African farming landscape is extended. Why? Because lions and farming livestock cannot co-exist. Farmers understandably are intolerant to the king of the beasts who innocently view the livestock as fair game, much to their detriment.

Conservation Programs

Re-populating lion numbers has been a contentious issue but some great work has nevertheless been undertaken in this area. Funding for such programs has been a real issue with lion rescue groups often having to rely on public support. For some countries in central and even western Africa, it's almost too little too late as lion numbers have almost completely diminished. There are many difficulties in managing african lion re-population. Breeding programs are fine but the problem is in re-locating animals into new environments among established prides. More often than not, they are not accepted by the existing pride.

An African lion safari sounds like a great adventure on the surface. A great way to get as close as possible to the king of the beasts in their natural habitat. Let's hope that the only place we'll find lions over the next couple of decades is not in nature books.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Is an African Lion Safari becoming a thing of the past? Read why the african lion is in trouble plus other safari related news and reviews at:http://www.african-safaris-site.com
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