World Lion Day

Today we celebrate those majestic felines of Africa and Asia. August 10 is World Lion Day. A symbol of strength, the lion is known as the king of the jungle.

There are two types of lions living in the world. Most often, we think of the African lion, which lives in several countries of the African continent. But there is also the Asiatic lion. It once inhabited much of India and the Middle East, but today is restricted to a small area in Gujarat State in India. They tend to be smaller than an African lion, with a much smaller mane. There are believed to be less than five hundred of them left.

Big Cat Rescue began World Lion Day. They are the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to big cats. Sadly, lions are in danger, mainly because of the shrinking of their habitat, though poaching and trophy hunting certainly contribute. The lion is not yet officially listed as endangered, but if things go the way they have been, it will sadly likely be on that list soon. According to The Africat Foundation:

  • Lion populations have plummeted by 43% in the past 20 years, to an estimated 20 000; in the same time-frame, populations in West, Central and East have collectively dropped by 60%. (One site estimates that in 1975 there were 250,000 lions, so that is quite a drop!.)
  • Lions have lost 75% of their original habitat in the past 100 years, lions now only occupy 8% of their historical range (which once spanned an area of over 13 million km.), and according to reports have disappeared entirely from 12 African countries, with possible recent extinction in four more;
  • Only 6 African countries unequivocally harbor more than 1 000 lions: Tanzania & Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa;

So give a thought today to these magnificent creatures who are fighting for their survival.

Quotes about lions

A truly strong person does not need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.–Vernon Howard

The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort.–Chanakya

It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.–Elizabeth Kenny

An optimist is someone who gets treed by a lion but enjoys the scenery.–Walter Winchell

An injured lion still wants to roar.–Randy Pausch

It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.–Winston Churchill

A lion’s work hours are only when he’s hungry; once he’s satisfied, the predator and prey live peacefully together.–Chuck Jones

I’ve got a friend who is a lion tamer. He used to be a school teacher till he lost his nerve.–Les Dawson

Do not try to fight a lion if you are not one yourself.–African Proverb

“It’s a mystery,” replied the Lion. “I suppose I was born that way. All the other animals in the forest naturally expect me to be brave, for the Lion is everywhere thought to be the King of Beasts. I learned that if I roared very loudly every living thing was frightened and got out of my way.”–L. Frank Baum

A lion sleeps in the heart of every brave man.–Turkish Proverb

You know the lion is dangerous when it is quiet, stalking, sneaking up on its prey. Only after it has ambushed and killed its prey does the lion roar. It wants to intimidate the jackals.–J. Hand

It is better to go in the dark when the road must pass a lion and there is no other road.–Robert E. Howard

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