The Beauty of Lions Explored Through A Wildlife Lens

There’s nothing that rouses a sense of awe quite like the proud stance and flowing mane of a lion. For centuries, lions have been rooted in our hearts and minds as symbols of beauty, strength and bravery — but against the forces of humanity, they’re undeniably fragile. There are less than 30,000 lions left in the wild. Habitat loss, human conflict, poaching, trophy hunting and canned hunting are chipping away at the already tenuous population at an alarming rate. To commemorate World Lion Day on Monday, an international initiative to rally support for lions and the organizations committed to their survival, these stunning images remind us that lions are extraordinary animals, deserving of our admiration and protection. 

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Okavango Delta, Botswana

GRAHAM SIMMONDS

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Mara Triangle Conservancy, Kenya

ANDREW BECK

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Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa

GRANT ATKINSON

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Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

ED HETHERINGTON

Panthera leo

Panthera leo

Linyanti Reserve, Botswana

JAMES WEIS

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Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

AMANDA MARAIS

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Lake Nakuru, Kenya

GERRY VAN DER WALT

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Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, South Africa

KEITH CONNELLY

THe most beautiful full mained male lions are found in the Massai Mara, Kenya

THe most beautiful full mained male lions are found in the Massai Mara, Kenya

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

PIPER MCKAY

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Timbavati Private Game Reserve, South Africa

MARIUS COETZEE

If you’re looking to support lion conservation, these five organizations could use your help. You can also visit World Lion Day’s website for more information and additional conservation groups. More here via Mashable

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Cecil’s death has focused attention on wildlife crime. Lions aren’t the only threatened species. But they may well be the most charismatic. By Becky Little, National Geographic

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