August 10, 2015
Tree Climbing Lions
- as seen by -Julie Larsen Maher
Tree climbing lions are rare.
But there are a few that find comfort in the cradle of trees in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park.
One theory is that these lions like to climb to where the air is cooler, away from the bothersome bites of the tsetse flies that swarm below, but the real reason for their ascension remains unknown.
Across Africa, lions are in trouble. In the last decade, Uganda has seen its lion numbers drop by nearly 30 percent. And lion populations outside of southern Africa have declined by about 60 percent in the last 20 years according to the IUCN Red List.
In Uganda, lions are victims of poisoning as a result of human-wildlife conflict which could directly affect the country’s tourism. A Wildlife Conservation Society survey indicates travelers are less likely to visit Uganda’s national parks if lions are not present.
WCS plans to establish an ecotourism program with the Uganda Wildlife Authority to help protect these iconic big cats. Some revenues from ecotourism would be reinvested in conservation activities.
August 10 is World Lion Day. Celebrate the importance of the majestic felines of Africa.
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