AFRICAN LION African Lions, also known as Panthera Leo, considered as the king of the jungle known for their bravery and chivalric appearance. They are considered as one of the largest cats in the cat family, most of the male lions have dark manes and the lioness don’t, they have powerful jaws which helps them to hunt their prey and they have 30 teeth in total which are well equipped to slice through their prey’s flesh, standing 11 foot tall (, updated 2017) and are the only species in the cat family that move in groups known as “prides” as they are extremely social. There exist male prides as well as female prides which come together only during the mating season. Lions get their food from hunting rather than scavenging.  The lioness hunts for the pride in a group with other lioness, protect the pride as well as the off springs, they prey on medium sized ungulates such as Zebras, wild beasts and Buffaloes. Male Lions do not hunt as much but usually scavenged from their female counterparts (FUNSTON, P., MILLS, M., BIGGS, H., & RICHARDSON, P. (1998).). African lions are usually mix with Lioness when there is a relative difference in the habitat, number of buffaloes in the area, hyenas () and a place with  moderate temperatures, and dry places like the sub-Saharan desert, south Sudan, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and various other countries in the African continent (IUCN, 2017). They are branded as lazy, in fact recent studies show that Lions are extremely patient, their success rate of getting their prey is just a mere 30%. African lions have been living on this planet for the past 100,000 years and have contributed a lot to the biodiversity of earth and have evolved over time just like us humans. Scientists have found through genetic analysis that the African Lion’s common ancestors existed 124,000 years ago (, 2 April 2014). African lions have been living on earth for over 10,000 years and now they are considered as an endangered species by IUCN, there were around 200,000 lions a century ago but now there are only 20,000 Lions left in different parts of Africa and Asia (,).Every organism has a role to play in the ecosystem and the Lion is no less, as a secondary consumer Lions play a crucial role in maintaining the food chain. Lions feed on herbivores like zebras and buffaloes whose main source of food is grass and if left alone they would finish the grasslands, lions help control the population by feeding on herbivores hence maintaining the ecological balance (, June 2015). They also contribute to the specie richness in the grasslands of Africa which helps conserve the biodiversity, at the same time attracts a lot of tourists to Africa, generating jobs in the tourism industry and playing a key role in Africa’s economy. The main reasons for the drastic decrease in their population is due to Human Lion conflict, Habitat Fragmentation, as well as the spread of diseases like CDV. Habitat fragmentation occurs when animals are forced to relocate because of either their habitat being destroyed by forest fires or by us humans due to the promotion of agricultural practices. This forces to relocate and find a different habitat with vegetation and herbivores like buffalos, zebras and animals which they feast on, which is hard to find, so in order to fill their hunger they resort to livestock depredation which prompts humans to react and this leads to what we know as human-lion conflict(Kevin R Crooks, 2010). African lions have been severely affected because of human lion conflict which involves chronic man killing which is rare, but something that frequently occurs is killing of livestock by the lions (Hans Bauer1,*, Hans de Iongh1 and Etotepe Sogbohossou2,2010). In order to protect the livestock Lion depredation is encouraged in various countries like Kenya especially by the Maasai tribe. People of the Maasai tribe believe that it is their birth right to hunt lions but do not go hunting indiscriminately. They follow the process of group hunting which gives the lion population to grow.  All the warriors follow a set of rules such as not killing the female lion as they hold a life inside them. They would only kill a lion if it caused harm to their livestock as it is their main source of food and income (, 2018(date accessed)). But this does not hide the damage the Maasai tribe has done to the Lion population in Kenya, between 1990 and 1993 the Maasai communities in and around the Amboseli National Park completely killed the lions in that area either by poisoning the lions or the carcass which they feed on or spearing them. This massacre led to the death of 140 lions. This prompted various organizations to compensate the Maasai tribe with the livestock which they lost. Over time the tribe understood the importance of lions and became more tolerant (Hazzah, Leela; Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique; Frank, Laurence, November 2009). Climate change has been a key factor in reducing the Lion population, the increase in C02 levels in the atmosphere has led to what we know as global warming which is directly responsible for droughts in various African countries like Kenya where the Lion population is pretty high, scientists believe that climate change and droughts are responsible for the CDV epidemic in Africa which has been responsible for a drastic decrease in the Lion population (Lindsay C. Stringer et al, 2009). CDV (Canine Distemper Virus) effects carnivores ranging aquatic animals to the carnivores on land, this causes diseases like encephalitis, pneumonia, anorexia and eventually, death. It killed at least 30% of the lion population and 85% of the Serengeti Lion population was infected by this virus (C.Pecker, 1999). CDV initially spread from the dogs in Africa to the lions as the dogs were not vaccinated, when rains resumed the population of Lions fell by one third in 1994 (, April 2015). Lions hunt buffaloes which were weakened as they were infected by a parasite known as Babesia, Dr. Packer stated that CDV is immunosuppressive, comparing it to AIDS virus and ended saying that this worsened the effects of Babesia(,2008).  Apart from this, lion are being frequently hunted down in places like Tanzania, for their faunal products e.g. animals, trophies, skin and photographs hunting can be done in various scales such as small, medium and large which generates a lot of revenue for the local population(Maroua, Cameroon,2008). Trophy hunters argue that they are saving the Lion population by shooting them, but the statistics speak for themselves. Around 1,363 lion trophies were exported from Tanzania between 2002 and 2009(, August 22, 2015). Various steps have been taken to help stabilize the Lion population as they are listed as vulnerable species by the IUCN. Lions are not threatened because of sport hunting but major steps have been taken by introducing the ESA (Endangered species act) to limit the import of sport trophies in 2016(, 2016).Though Trophy hunting is shown in a negative light, it has been beneficial in Africa as it is helping to build revenue and build financial incentives which are used to preserve wildlife, but recent analysis shows that Trophy hunting involves a lot of corruption and shady activities(, January 2016),e.g. A professional trophy hunter killed  a lion named Xanda in Zimbabwe, which cause a lot of rage worldwide to ban trophy hunting, Trophy hunting also effects the lions within the pride, after a lion a killed there are many inter pride conflicts which lead to killing of female lions as well as the infants(, February 2016). Most of their threat is coming from habitat loss as well as human Lion conflict. Wildlife defender group, Panthera is working towards conserving the wildlife as well as working to pass laws that would help protect lions and 14 other wildlife species. “The Great Cats and Rare Canids Act would create a $5 million annual fund to protect these animals, which is being administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as helping on the ground conservation programs such as Living with lions project and Wildlife Direct, a charitable organization, which is working towards bringing justice to lions by addressing the problem of lion poisoning in Kenya (, accessed 2018).   African Lions are being tortured in every way possible all the way from natural diseases to hunting but the main cause for this suffering is us humans, if we can spend large amounts of money on killing we have the ability and responsibility to preserve them and help them grow as a they too are a part of Earth. We would soon regret the for, not the actions we have taken or the harm we have done to these predators but we would surely regret not trying hard enough to preserve our biodiversity as we are responsible for not just our lives but also for the lives we impact through our actions. Approaching this problem in the right way would lead to greater mutual understanding and a healthier environment.