- The increasing demand for lion parts in Southeast Asia has fueled poaching in Africa.
- The advance of animal owners into wildlife parks has so far led to conflicts between nomadic animal owners.
- This leads to the killing of lions through poisoning, shootings with spears and poisoned arrows.
“High cases of lion poisoning have also been reported in East Africa as nomadic communities hit back after attacks on their cattle,” said Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection’s Africa office in Kenya.
She said the demand for lion products like bones and teeth in the fast-growing herbal medicine industry has also fueled poaching in the African wilderness.
Kabesiime said other threats to the African lion are captive breeding and trophy hunting.
It is estimated that the African lion population has declined by up to 50% over the past 25 years. Conservation experts said habitat loss, persecution from human conflict and the increasing illegal trade in lion parts pose real threats to lions’ survival.
“Lions are an integral part of our biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and this event will not only help raise awareness of their plight, but also highlight the many other achievements we need to build to make them sustainable in the future to ensure.” Kenyan touristsm Minister Mr. Najib Balala said.
Statistics from World Animal Protection show that the lion population in Africa is currently estimated at 20,000, compared to about 200,000 lions a hundred years ago.
South Africa is the only country that allows large-scale lion breeding, where the animals are often kept in overcrowded cages or enclosures.
Killing lions for their bones and other parts has emerged as a more recent threat. Although lion bones are not part of traditional Chinese medicine, these more readily available products are entering illegal wildlife markets as replacements due to the decline in tiger populations.
Lions are the most popular and tourist-attractive animal that attracts large crowds of tourists on safari in East Africa.