Renowned for its majesty and nicknamed "the king of the jungle," the lion possesses both beauty and strength. Unfortunately the lion population in Africa has been reduced by half since the early 1950s. Today, fewer than 20,000 remain in all of Africa yet incredibly in certain African countries the hunting of lions is still legal. From 2002 to 2008, almost 3900 lion trophies (these are reported numbers let alone the illegal ones) were exported from all African countries while there were clear warnings of a severely declining population. The USA imported about 70% of them, but European Union countries were also complicit.
Around 500 lions and 400 leopards a year are LEGALLY killed in Tanzania by trophy hunters paying up to £25,000. On top of this you have 1000 lions killed a year in South Africa by trophy hunters - many of these lions are bred in captivity specifically for this purpose.
If you would like to see more of my big cat images then please visit my website bigcatphotography