Lion cubs in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.
While lions may seem abundant when one visits a national park in Kenya, Tanzania, or South Africa, Africa’s lion population has plunged by more than 75 percent over the past century due to habitat loss, hunting, and loss of prey. Some researchers say lions could completely disappear from most unprotected areas over the next 20-30 years.
Inida’s lions are fairing even worse: the sub-species, down to 300 individuals, is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.
At least two sub-species have gone extinct in modern times: the last wild Barbary Lion was killed in 1922 and the Cape Lion disappeared around 1860.