The world is on the verge of having the king of the jungle succumb to extinction- and the blood is on our hands. Pretty scary thought, eh? World Lion Day is an initiative to spread the word of the plight of the lion, and to encourage people to celebrate this gorgeous animal.
I’m not alone when I say I have always had a deep fascination for big cats. Since the dawn of man, the lion has played an integral part in global heritage – symbolically, culturally, religiously, economically and biologically. I had the opportunity to try my hand out at being a lion conservation volunteer for a few weeks in Zimbabwe, and I truly started to learn about the plight of the lion. There are many organizations around the world that are trying to do their part in hopes of saving the lion from extinction. Through volunteering with these magnificent beasts, I learned what a wonderful and captivating creature they really are, and ALERT (African Lion and Environmental Research Trust) made sure to explain just why the numbers have been declining and stressed that getting the word out will greatly help their cause.
Cue World Lion Day.
Started by one of the inspiring women that I met while volunteering in Zimbabwe, Rae Kokes, World Lion Day hopes to bring much needed attention to the plight of the lion and celebrate this globally vital animal. On August 10, 2013 people from all over the world will hold events, celebrations and fundraise in support of the lion – in particular, they will be supporting Mara Naboisho Lion Project, Etosha Carnivore Research Unit, Tashinga Initiative, Global White Lion Protection Trust and Conservation Lower Zambezi.
Take a look around – how often do you see lions in your every day life? Lions are found on statues sitting outside parliament buildings all over the world, they’re used as car emblems, on national flags and permanently tattooed on bodies. On top of all of that, we’ve grown up watching The Lion King, Madagascar, The Wizard of Oz, The Chronicles of Narnia and every movie that began with the famous roar of the MGM lion. Lions are such a respected symbol that even a world-famous rapper has adopted the name – now going by Snoop Lion. What World Lion Day wants us to keep at the forefront of our minds is that without our support, the lions of the world will soon become a distant memory and only live on as symbols, in movies and history books.