Lions are considered the ‘King of Beasts’. These regal creatures live in prides and are capable of hunting and bringing down large prey.
Lions were once abundant throughout Africa and have long been an icon of the African landscape. There remains a small remnant population of Asiatic lions in Gir National Park in India.
In recent years lion bone has been used as a substitute for tiger bone in the illegal trade in Asia leading to a spike in lion captive breeding facilities in South Africa.
Tragically, lions have often been reduced to imprisonment in a cage, with cubs taken away from their mothers for unwitting tourists to play with.
They are placed in petting zoos, they are unknowingly ‘tamed’ by volunteers who help to raise them, and by tourists. Once they are too large to be easily handled the animals are released into caged compounds where they are shot, often drugged, at close range – a practice known as canned hunting.
Fewer than 20,000 lions survive in Africa today.
Image Credit: Manoj Dholakia
Image Credit: Leon Molenaar
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is supporting a programme to investigate and protect lion populations in two of Uganda’s key wildlife areas.
Africa’s lions are under threat and, with little known about the lions of Uganda, DSWF funding will help conservationists better understand the issues and threats faced by the populations in the country. The teams will work to establish whether the South Murchison Falls Conservation Area holds the largest population of lions in the country and how many lions survive in Kidepo Valley National Park in the northeast.
This project aims to determine the size and range of Uganda’s lion population and evaluate the threats to them. A number of lions are being collared and assessed by vets as part of this work. We also fund anti-snare operations.
DSWF has been funding conservation in Uganda since 1998 supporting the work of the Uganda Conservation Foundation.
“The rapid decline in lion numbers across Africa in the last decade has been shocking. The growing demand for lion bone in Asia, the abhorrent canned hunting industry and human encroachment into wild spaces are pushing this magnificent big cat ever closer to extinction.”
Georgina Lamb, Chief Executive at David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Find out more
In just 20 years, African lion populations have fallen by 43% and as few as 20,000 remain in the wild today. Learn more here.
Read David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s position on the trade of lion parts, captive breeding farms and canned hunting.
Discover new exciting facts about the King of Beasts from what they eat to how long lions live for.
DSWF is funding a programme to investigate and protect lion populations in two of Uganda’s key wildlife areas.