World Lion Day 2014
The WLT will be commemorating World Lion Day together with our local community, who will be marching for the urgent protection of their White Lion heritage. The Sepedi and Tsonga people believe in the sacred importance of the White Lions, and many regard them lovingly as family members. However, White Lions have been artificially removed from their ancestral lands, and bred to be killed in Canned Hunting camps. They are held in captivity in virtually every country around the globe; while less than 10 survive in the wilds of their ancestral heritage lands. Despite ongoing forced removals from their natural system, White Lions continue to recur here – testifying to their resilience and conservation value against all odds.
Our multi-level White Lion Protection Plan™ to ensure White Lion survival has included the reintroduction of three separate bloodlines of White Lions of the highest genetic integrity into their endemic habitat. This strategy extends to strengthening the genetic pool for Panthera leo, in general, currently at serious risk of a population crash in the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere (K2C).
The ground-breaking discovery of the White Lion ‘Genetic Marker’, led by the Global White Lion Protection Trust, will help secure a successful re-classification of all lions in this region and ensure large-scale biodiversity conservation in the K2C.
10 Statistics* you should know on Panthera Leo
• In South Africa only 2,500 lions in the wild, in excess of 5,000 in captivity
• Over 160 lion-breeding/canned hunting farms
• No legislation to protect White Lions
• Wild lion population declined 80% over the past 50 years
• Lions have disappeared from 75% of their historic range
• Lion trophy exports from South Africa increased more than 300% over the past 10 years
• Only 3% of trophy hunting revenue reaches local or rural communities
• Trophy hunting accounts for only 0.27% of GDP and 1.8% of tourism revenue
• Statistics show Panthera Leo is at greater risk of extinction than Rhino
* Stats taken from recent published Reports