Lion: Pride before the Fall is a photography book featuring the last lion prides in Africa, profits from which go to support the conservation work of Born Free.
There are only 20,000 lions left in the wild and their range is limited to a few places in Africa, where once they could be found in Europe and Asia as well. The photographs are gorgeous, but this is a profoundly upsetting book. It is possible that lions will be extinct in the wild by 2050. They are under threat from the clash with people as settlements encroach on lion territory. Lions will kill livestock. People poison lions to protect their livelihoods. They are also at risk from poachers and trophy hunters.
There are more lions in captivity. Those in private collections, zoos, and in farms where they are bred for canned hunting. Captive lions are a tragic shadow of themselves. Without the space they need, ranges of tens of miles, and the ability to engage in their natural behaviours, they are nothing like they are in the wild.
It seems lion populations can recover fast. If their habitat is protected and a balance can be found between lion and human populations.
Addressing the horrors of the canned hunting business and the trade in lion bones is also important but lions rescued from these farms can rarely be released into the wild.
It’s a beautiful, devastating book. Well worth investing in.