Friday, November 18, 2011

King of the Jungle Endangered

Known for its majesty and prestige, the lion, nicknamed "the king of the jungle" is an animal know of it's strength and beauty. For centuries, the lion has been one of the main attractions in any game park or reserve across the globe. Lions have fascinated people from all walks of life with documentaries and  movies such as the Lion King keenly emphasising on the lion and their families.

Lions vary in colour but commonly are those that sport a light yellow-brown coat. Mature male lions are unique among big cats due the thick brown or black manes that encircle their necks and protect them while fighting, whereas the mature female lions are the pride's primary hunters, often working together to prey upon antelopes, Zebras, wildebeest and other animals in the naked wild.

The Lion population in Africa has rapidly reduced since the early 1950's and today fewer than 21,000 remain in all of Africa. As a fact lions are facing an indirect threat from climate change called co-infection and periodically face outbreaks of the disease distemper though this causes few death with an exemption of the period 1994 - 2001 which caused massive die-offs with researchers saying the epidemic was due to the occurrence of a server drought. This would then factor in the issue of deforestation by humans which causes weather change and as a result drought is experienced. It is warned that droughts such as the ones that bring about co-infection in lions are predicted to become more as the climate warms which we can rightfully say,  indirectly humans are the cause of the weather change.

Lions are also facing many more human threats such as population growth and agricultural expansion, resulting in loss of natural habitat, hunting, poisoning and poaching just to name but a few.

Facts about the Lion:

  • Lions are about 4 feet (1.2m) (males) in height and approximately 5-8 feet (1.5-2.4m) (males), length. 
  • They weigh 330-500 lbs (150-227 kg) (males) in general, female lions are smaller than males. 
  • Their lifespan is placed at 10-14 years in the wild, however if in captivity can last for over 20 years!
  • Lions top speed is rated at 50 mph (81 km/hr), for short distances . 
Defenders of wildlife and conservation groups are continually advocating for the life of lions, with campaigns being put across, blogs, news papers and magazine articles being written among many other channels including Social Media. We however feel that we can do more by educating people on the topic using simple viral methods or simply, planting a tree to help sustain the environment. 

"Visit one of Kenya's parks today and see a lion and the other big five. "

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