World Lion Day - Tiger prowls free in the wild

World Lion Day

Lions are the kings of the jungle, but even those at the top of the animal kingdom need our help. On World Lion Day, let’s see what’s really going on.

When is World Lion Day?

World Lion Day is an annual event that takes place on August 10th.

What is the history of World Lion Day?

This year is the 10th World Lion Day. It was founded in 2013 by Derek and Beverly Joubert with the intention of raising awareness about the challenges lions face in the wild.

Prior to this, the Jouberts also partnered with National Geographic to create the Big Cat Initiative. Again, this initiative focused on trying to stop the rapid decline in lion populations.

Why is World Lion Day important?

Lions are facing huge threats

The number of lions in the wild has dropped dramatically, and this trend is continuing. The population of African lions, for example, has dropped by 43% since 2001. Without our help, lion populations may never recover.

Lions are exploited

Lions aren’t typical farmyard animals, but thousands of lions are farmed around the world for their bones and other body parts. These are often used in traditional medicine, despite no evidence that they work. These animals have short, brutal lives of suffering.

Lions have empathy

Lions are social animals and they are able to empathise with other members of their pride. For example, they experience contagious yawning just like humans.

Lions are intelligent

Like many other animals, lions are able to solve puzzles to obtain food. Unusually, they can also learn how to solve a puzzle simply by watching another lion solve it first. This shows a higher level of intelligence and social connection than most other animals.

How can you celebrate World Lion Day?

We can all celebrate World Lion Day by taking important steps to reduce the exploitation of lions.

Why South Africa's Commercial Lion Breeding must end

Learn about the issue of commercial lion breeding and our evidence of cruel and illegal activity at “secret” lion farms.

Be a Real Responsible Traveller

Show travel companies that you’re serious about animal protection. Refuse to book with those who offer experiences with captive lions. Check our Real Responsible Traveller guide to see which companies are taking their responsibilities towards animal protection seriously.

Join our campaign against using animals for traditional medicine

Using animals, especially endangered wild animals, in medicine is bad for the planet and offers no medical benefits. Join our campaign to help put a stop to these practices.

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World Lion Day FAQS

Where do lions live?

Nearly all lions currently live in Africa. They’re able to live in lots of different habitats, including open plains, dense brush, and even dry thorn forests. They will usually be found living close to a body of water which can also help them find prey.

Are lions intelligent?

Lions are highly intelligent animals who can solve problems easily. As sentient, social creatures, they can even work together to solve puzzles and obtain food.

What do lions eat

Lions typically eat large or medium-sized animals, such as impala. They usually work together to hunt and stalk their prey rather than engage in a long chase.

Are lions endangered and why?

Lions are described as “vulnerable”, with only about 20,000 African lions left in the wild. They are suffering from the loss of prey animals but they are also being hunted and caught for human purposes. These include entertainment and traditional medicine.

Captive lions are also used for “hunting experiences”. These experiences keep the lions in a confined space, allowing wealthy “hunters” a guaranteed kill. These lions often sustain agonising wounds and suffer significantly.

Can lions be domesticated?

Lions are sentient, wild animals and cannot be domesticated. Their emotional and social needs can only be met by living in a pride with other lions.

How can we protect lions?

We can protect lions by putting an end to their commercial exploitation. We can remove the demand for lions in tourist entertainment and boycott companies that still engage in these practices. We can also pressure governments to crack down on the use of lion parts in traditional medicine.