Yesterday was International Cat Day, just another day for me and for most moggies around and about, but today is for our big cousins, lions.
August 10th is a day for people to come together from across the world to pay tribute to the mighty lion in as many ways as possible. The woman who feeds me visits the lions at Melbourne Zoo on a regular basis but I feel no jealousy whatsoever. I know that a lion can’t possess my winning ways and, besides, it couldn’t fit on her lap.
Lion numbers have dramatically declined to the point where the species needs to be placed on the endangered list, just like my other large cousins the tiger! Lion population has decreased by around 43% since 1993 with only 16,000 to 25,000 remaining in sub-Sahara Africa and a small, isolated population in the Gir Forest in India. They’re being killed by farmers to protect livestock and are also suffering as the supply of their prey dwindles due to human impact. More people. Less lions.
Trophy hunting is also contributing to their decline. I can’t even begin to tell you what I think about these self-named “trophy hunters”. Don’t let me start or I’ll shock you with my ungentlemanly language.
If you’re in my hometown, call in and say hello to the three young lions at Melbourne Zoo. They’re growing fast.
You’ll find Kubwa, Kito and Kashka in their excellent enclosure, Lion Gorge.