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A message on World Lion Day

Sunday 10th August 2014


How many species will soon become dinosaurs?


There are versions of the same African proverb about lions that go like this:

Until the lion has his or her own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story. (Benin and Ghana)

Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter (Nigeria)

Until lions start writing down their own stories, the hunters will always be the heroes (Kenya, Zimbabwe)

What does the proverb mean?

Simply put, those who are oppressed are voiceless, and we often only hear one version of the truth.

Animals have no voice except the one we give them. And we must speak out against the destruction of one of our most iconic species on this planet in every possible way we can.

Fifty years ago there were 200,000 lions in Africa. Now we struggle to find 15,000 on the whole continent. Every time an actual survey is done the numbers decrease. Gonarezhou National Park in southern Zimbabwe might only have 30-40 lions left. Limpopo National Park in Mozambique might only have 60 lions left. Nigeria has about 30 lions. The Niokolo Koba in western Africa has about 16… I could go on and on, the destruction has been relentless.

This is World Lion Day. Please speak up for the voiceless – tell all your friends, tell your politicians, tell your delegations to the UN, make a difference and today be a lion storyteller.

Can you tell your children 20 years from now that the only place to see a lion is in a zoo?

With thanks to Beck, Chinua Achebe and Simeon Messan Adagba

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Posted by Chris Macsween at 13:05

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