World Lion Day

World Lion Day

Amarillo, TX - Lions all across the world were honored today and residents were invited out to the Amarillo Zoo to learn about what they can do to help the species.

The Zoo hosted special activities, crafts and education exhibits so the community can enjoy and learn more about the animals.

Lions, who used to range wide across the continent, have since been lost from over 80 percent of it's possible range in just 50 years.

Population of these animals continues to fall, so today's event helped bring awareness to the issue.

In 1975 there was an estimated 250,000 lions in Africa. Today the continent wide population stands at a mere 25,000 - 30,000 individuals. This staggering 80-90 percent decline combines with the fragmentation and isolation of those remaining sub-populations with little long-term viability.

Recent studies have shown lions exist in 67 areas across the continent but only nine countries have at least 1,000 individuals. Five countries are thought to have lost their populations entirety since 2002.

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 because of severe human-wildlife conflict. Lion conservationists fear that lions could go extinct in the country within a matter of years.

Today the lion is threatened with:

- Habitat loss

- Prey loss

- Human-wildlife conflict

- Unsustainable trophy hunting practices

- Poaching

- Disease