The most famous lion sculpture in the continent of Africa is the Sphinx.  This popular tourist attraction in Egypt contains the head of a man and the body of a lion.  In Africa, you can go on a trip and see real lions at national parks and reserves.  Seeing a lion is a once in a lifetime experience that is unforgettable.  However, if their population continues to decline, other generations may not have that opportunity.  According to the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF), the population of lions was 200,000 a century ago and has now decreased to 20,000.

Launched by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Wildlife Conservation Network, the mission of the LRF is to help conserve the lions and preserve the habitats where they live.  There are many reasons why lions are vanishing.  Due to human intrusion and agriculture, they are losing their natural environment.  These beasts also face human and wildlife conflict.  They are also being hunted illegally.  In fact, one of the most popular lions that was killed was Cecil who was a striking lion and a magnet for Africa’s tourism industry.

One of the main goals of the LRF is to work tirelessly to protect lions.  The contributions that they receive go directly to conserve these beasts.  They work very hard to preserve all of Africa’s national parks and reserves, where lions live, so that they will be able to thrive once again.  Pendjari National Park, located in Benin, is home to 90 percent of West Africa’s lions.  At Niokolo-Koba National Park, only 20 to 30 lions remain, and the LRF is working hard to bring them back.

Since lions are a tourist attraction, Africa’s economy will suffer if their population continues to dwindle.  Therefore, it is important for the public to support the LRF through donations as well as through petitions to protect them. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation donated $1 million to the Lion Recovery Fund.

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Of all the cats in the Felidae family, the male lion is one of the most beautiful cats with it’s wavy brown mane.  As we already know, the lioness does not have a mane making it very easy to differentiate between the two.  The lioness and the lion both have different behaviors.  While males do some hunting, the lioness does most of the hunting.  While both the lioness and the lion can defend the pride, the male lion guards the pride more effectively due to it’s power.

As sociable creatures, many lions live in prides.  The average amount of lions that live in a pride is 15.  They consist of several lionesses and up to four lions.  The area that a pride occupies is called a pride area.  Lions that do not live in prides are known as nomads.  It is more common for males to be nomads, and they move by themselves or in pairs.  The region where nomads live is called a range.  When nomads and lions that live in prides meet, they are belligerent.

During the day,these beasts rest for 20 hours.  After twilight, they become more energetic.  They are hypercarnivorous and spend 50 minutes a day eating.  As skillful foragers, they obtain 50 percent of their food by scavenging.  Since they are nocturnal creatures, they do most of their hunting at night until sunrise.  When they are almost a year old, they engage in hunting.  As young as the age of two, they are already good hunters.

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Across the world, lions are star attractions at zoos.  People come from far and wide to see these exotic creatures.  In captivity, they can live more than 20 years.  Like all wild animals, they are happiest when they live in the wild and in places such as national parks and reserves where they can roam freely.

Lions have always been a part of our culture, for they are included in many works of literature including the bible.  Symbolizing power, statues and carvings of lions are on many public and private buildings across the world.  They have also been featured in many movies such as The Wizard of Oz and Walt Disney’s, The Lion King.  Now The Lion King is also a popular Broadway musical.

Peeking through the grasslands of Africa, sometimes one can see the mystical eyes of a lion.  They are powerful and strong animals with a roar that can be heard for miles.  Lions are really kings of the jungle since they have no innate predators, but man is still their greatest threat.