Lions are the most social of the big cats and once ranged across the world, in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. They have long been a symbol of power and majesty for people of many different cultures. However, lion populations are currently considered to be vulnerable, and certain subspecies, such as the West African lion, and the Asiatic lion, are nearing extinction.
The current total population of lions is difficult to determine, but most estimates put it at around 30,000 animals. While populations of lions are often protected, they face pressure from declining habitat.
National Geographic estimates there are now more statues of lions in the world than there are living lions.
More about lions:
- Lions will live in groups, called prides, of up to 15 animals. Female lions do almost all of the hunting for the pride.
- One of the major dangers currently facing lion populations is retaliatory killing by farmers attempting to protect their livestock. Conservation groups are attempting to resolve this with improved livestock management techniques and compensation for losses.
- All wild lions now live in Africa, apart from a tiny remaining population of Asiatic lions located in the Gir Forest National Park in India.