While conservationists were busy worrying about rhinos, elephants and gorillas, something entirely unexpected happened - the African lion began to vanish from the wild in large numbers, even in protected areas. A population previously estimated at 100,000 in the early 1990's shrank to possibly as few as 16,000. What went wrong?
The lion, King of Beasts, Africa's top predator, is under attack from all sides. Increasing human populations, disease, trophy hunting, and conflicts with farmers and herders have all taken their toll, as well as the debilitating effects of inbreeding among surviving lions in the isolated pockets of habitat left to them. Lion experts, researchers and advocates of all kinds are looking for solutions, hoping to protect wild African lions from becoming an endangered species. In a world where the lion is a magnificent beast to some and a killer pest to others, theirs is not an easy task.
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