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lions in a pride

A young male lion stares into the camera as an adult male lays close to him

 

 

Shrinking Spaces

Trophy hunting has taken its toll on the top predator of the savanna. Destruction of wild habitats also means less space for lions, and more likelihood that humans and lions cross paths, leading to conflict. Lions are sometimes killed to protect herds of livestock or to keep them out of human-populated areas.

 

 

Lioness in pursuit of a zebra

33 mph

speed of a sprinting female lion

Fierce Competition

Lions are Africa’s largest and most important carnivore. They keep animal populations in check and in doing so assure a healthy ecosystem.

 

140

pounds of food a lion can eat at one time

A lioness watches over her four small cubs as they move across a green grassy area

 

 

But humans and lions compete for food sources: bushmeat (wild game) is an important source of protein and surplus income for some locals, and this causes lions and humans bump up against each other. Under these circumstances, lions often starve or are killed—sometimes accidentally, sometimes on purpose.

Male lion and female lioness press their heads against one another as they walk on dry savanna grass

Together, we can
turn things around.

 

 

Masai cattle grazing Kenyan savanna. Masai ranger belonging to Lion Guardians on motor bike Masai ranger belonging to Lion Guardians on motor bike in Amboseli, Kenya, driving on a path with African red soil.

Left: Domesticated cattle are an important part of Masai and Samburu livelihood.  Right: An anti-lion poaching Masai ranger patrols Amboseli, Kenya. 

 

 

Working Together

The problems lions face are serious, but there is hope. Conservation is cultural, and we work in the heart of local communities to find solutions that work for people and animals alike. With our partners, we are helping change deeply ingrained cultural views of lions. In fact, some of the people who used to hunt lions are now the very rangers protecting them. We also plant seeds for the future by supporting local schools that educate children and connect them with wildlife.

 

 

Mother lioness carrying tiny lion cub in her mouth by the scruff of its neck. Samburu women in Kenya stand in their ornate beaded jewelry.

Ewaso Lions launched its Mama Simba program in 2013, engaging about 300 Samburu women in lion conservation. A core team of 10 women share peer-to-peer with other Samburu women the importance of lions to maintain a healthy ecosystem in which their communities can thrive.

 

 

Your support to the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy can provide dedicated anti-poaching patrols, ways to protect cattle and eliminate livestock as a lion food source, and ensure that the habitats humans and lions share are used in the safest, most efficient ways possible—so everyone wins. We can’t do it without your help.

Lioness sits on a dirt mound amongst tall dry savanna grass