I was fortunate to be given the DVD of The Last Lions this Christmas. This is an extraordinary documentary about a lioness in Duba, Botswana. National Geographic filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert capture jaw-dropping footage of lions as they wage territorial war on each other, and a threatening herd of buffalo. It is an emotional film and difficult to watch in parts, but truly magnificent. If you can find it, watch it.
Over the last 50 years the wild population of lions in Africa is estimated to have dropped from approximately 450,000 to 20,000. This is a staggering loss brought on in large part by habitat destruction and human-animal conflict. I have been blessed to see these animals in the wild. This male, one of three brothers, was shot in Savute, Botswana in 2009. It is quite humbling to be in their presence. I cannot imagine a world without them…and yet this could very well happen in what is left of my lifetime.
For more information, check out Nat Geo’s Big Cat Initiative, Cause an Uproar.