Shocking Decline in African Lion Population

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Geo Beats
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There is a shocking decline in the African lion population.

Lion populations in Africa are dwindling.

A 2012 study found that the number of lions in the wild has fallen by 68 percent in the past 50 years, from an estimated 100 thousand in 1960, to just 35 thousand today.

Another estimate from the NGO LionAid showed an even lower population size of only 15 thousand.

Lion populations are not only threatened by habitat loss due to human population expansion, but also poaching and hunting.

Many hunters want to bag a mature lion with a mane, which might be the leader of the pride.

Prides of lions are usually controlled and defended by a pair of males.

If the leader of a pride is killed, the second in command is vulnerable to attacks.

Cubs of the dead lion can also be threatened and killed along with females who try to stand up to dominant male lions.

Although the government makes money for hunters killing one lion, many die due to the social dynamics of the pride.

Another threat to the lion population is the use of their bones in Chinese medicine.

Lions bones are replacing tiger bones, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine for their purported power to make men more sexually potent.

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