In 2015, the killing of Cecil the lion by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe made international headlines. News of how this magnificent big cat met his untimely death was greeted with outrage. At the same time, this tragic story managed to bring the world’s attention to the plight of Africa’s lions.
With numbers falling so drastically, the future of this iconic species hangs perilously in the balance. Experts even predict that the last remaining wild lions will be wiped out by the mid-half of this century if effective conservation plans are not put in place.
So how did the ‘King of the Beasts’ end up in such a devastating situation? How did the population of Africa’s mighty lion drop by a staggering 90% in just 100 years?
Sara Evans, an award winning wildlife writer, tells the story of the rise and fall of the lion in her new book, When the Last Lion Roars. Looking back through history Sara reveals a world where lions once roamed freely, throughout Africa and also Eurasia and North America. The book goes on to examine how, as the world started to lose its wilderness, we became less tolerant of the lion and unable to share what wild land remained, with devastating consequences.
When the Last Lion Roars does offer a glimmer of hope, however, as the book looks at the work of conservation groups and what they are doing in their quest to save the king of the beasts. It also confirms that the ‘Cecil Moment’ showed people do really care passionately about lions and their survival.
Heart-breaking, thought-provoking and a thoroughly essential read.
When the Last Lion Roars by Sara Evans
Published by Bloomsbury Wildlife. Out now.