"An injured lion still wants to roar."
- Randy Pausch
Revered for its great courage and strength, the lion is one of Africa's most iconic animals. But because of illegal killing and habitat loss, the once mighty king of the jungle now faces extinction.
By 2050, the lion may be gone forever.
This is devastating not only because lions are magnificent creatures, but because their extinction would result in the eventual extinction of many herbivores, and someday even humans.
Without their natural predators, deer and Buffalo would take over the grasslands, and eventually wipe them out. Grass-eating animals will fight for food, and eventually starve or move from the land.
Not to mention the effect this would have on Africa's ecotourism dollars, about $85 billion a year.
Would you spend thousands of dollars on a safari if you wouldn't see a lion or hear its mighty roar?
Local African communities depend on this money for their survival. Without it, there will be a huge rise in poverty, hunger, disease, and the need for additional aid from Western Countries.
African National Parks will suffer tremendously, and soon face extinction themselves for, to quote conservationist and Co-Founder of the Big Cats Initiative, "Poor, sick people are not conservationists."
The good news is, we can stop this.