Lions and Leopards – endangered
LIONS Lions once ranged across the continent, into Syria and Israel, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. The magnificent cats are dying off rapidly across Africa. 2,000 years ago more than a million lions roamed the Earth. Since the 1940s, when lions numbered an estimated 450,000, lion populations have been decimated and may total as few as 20,000 animals. The greatest threat to lion populations across sub-Saharan Africa is thought to be the direct killing of lions by local communities in retaliation to livestock killings. As an example, the Sukuma, who measure their wealth in heads of cattle, traditionally, killed lions in response to losses in livestock. Tribesman who killed lions was rewarded by their clansmen with gifts. The drastic decrease in lion populations is directly related to human populations and human interaction.
Leopards The leopard population is difficult to estimate because leopards' existence is solitary and in hard to reach habitats. Based on observation of trained wildlife experts, it is believed that leopards have also lost considerable numbers, similar to lions. continued . . .
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