Changing Planet

Show Your Lion Pride on World Lion Day

Cause an Uproar with the Big Cats Initiative and celebrate World Lion Day on August 10.

Images of lions are everywhere. From the iconic statues on the steps of the New York Public Library, to your favorite team mascot, to movies and Broadway musicals, lions are cultural icons. The list of lions in public spaces, artwork and the media is endless, all tributes to the magnificent and fearless “King of the Jungle.”

But did you know there are more lion statues and images than actual wild lions roaming across Africa? In the last 50 or so years we’ve seen the lion population decline nearly 95%. These amazing creatures are victims of habitat loss and degradation as well as human conflict. Without immediate action, we may one day live in a world where the only lions we know are statues and mascots.

In response to the critical situation facing lions and other big cats in the wild, National Geographic teamed up with Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert to launch the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a comprehensive program that supports on-the-ground conservation and education projects in conjunction with Cause an Uproar, a global public-awareness campaign. To date, BCI has given more than $1.75 million toward big cat conservation projects that are making a difference on the ground.

Photograph copyright Beverly Joubert/National Geographic Creative
Photograph copyright Beverly Joubert/National Geographic Creative

In celebration of World Lion Day on August 10, National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative invites you to cause an uproar! Here are some ways to get involved and help save lions and other big cats:

Join a Twitter chat on August 6 at 12:00 p.m. EST with Big Cats Initiative Co-Founders and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Be sure to follow @dereckbeverly and @NatGeoLive and use #NatGeoLive to ask questions.

Help build boma fences. Boma fences are fortified enclosures that protect livestock from lions. These in turn help protect lions and other big cats from retaliatory killings when livestock are killed. You can help build boma fences by starting a campaign or making a direct donation by visiting

Text “LIONS” to 50555 to donate $10 to on-the-ground conservation through the Big Cats Initiative. Message and data rates apply. Terms and conditions:

Explore other ways you can take action and help spread the word: Get Involved

And to say thanks for your support from our big cat friends, please enjoy this lion photo gallery and download any of the images as wallpaper:.

Get involved with to learn more about big cats and share your love of lions!

Posted by Colby Bishop

  • Timbalionguy

    I will celebrate World Lion Day by spending some quality time with my lion friends! Responsible captive husbandry will also help save the lion!

  • Irene Grilo

    Joining you, proudly on the next World Lion day!

  • Tanmay Sharma

    Hope whole world celebrates it and encourage others too. Its a very good initiative to protect those endangered wild animal.

  • Katherine Vick


  • Agnes Azzopardi

    what time is the live chat and what time zone, please?

  • Mohua Mukherjee

    I am quite fascinated by the lives of the big cats and follow almost all Nat Geo documentaries on a regular basis. But recently I was quite shocked to know from a documentary of Lion Whisperer that there are many lion farms in South Africa that breed lion cubs just to use them as game.. An adult lion is available to the tourists for just a few hundred dollars!!! I was SHOCKED!!! Is there any way we can stop this sheer inhumanity??

  • James

    These Wild Cats are definitely on the decline and unless we do some thing to help save them, the only place we are going to see them is in a zoo..

  • neo


  • Joy Gardner

    I appreciate the beauty of all large cats! They are a gift to us and we need to preserve each and every animal. Are there many reserves that are available to help sustain the cats and serve as protection? If so could we not establish more of these reserves and perhaps establish security in some degree? I know it would take a great deal of money, but perhaps Hollywood and others would contribute as well as the regular Joe!?

  • Joy Gardner

    I really appreciate and love big cats! What are the number of reserves available to protect and to promote increasing the numbers of these large beauties? Perhaps we need to focus our money and other assets toward growing their numbers and providing a safe secure area! Need to know more about that!

  • Alba Farias

    Estupendos animales. Quiza los exterminan para vender su piel. Para venderlos a los circos. No me gustan los Zoologicos, La forma de salvarlos es en grandes reservas bien custodiadas.

  • roberto

    we have to save them i love lions are my inspiration

  • nikhil paralkar

    every time i see the NG documentaries in which they show lions dying of hunger and the new male killing the litter of the earlier lion, the NG team should feed them and rescue the litter , that way at-least the lions of the new generation can survive and the problem of declining numbers can be taken care of.

  • Suchet Bal

    Maybe artificial insemination of big cats in wild as well as of those in captivity will produce more cubs and more chances of survival.

  • hailuaueru

    I will want to celebrate lion day by spend my time

  • Ruhan Kainth

    We love lions and all the attributes of their personality that humans connect and aspire to. Thanks for alerting us to their decline.

  • Ruhan Kainth

    Furthermore, we love cats. I have always had them in our lives. At present we have ten cats, one who even looks like a lion. They are awesome. We must to everything possible to prevent them from disappearing.
    The Sikh last name for males is Singh to signify lion hearted.

  • prabal chatterjee

    We should inject awareness amongst the people to step forward to save lions from extinction.

  • prabal chatterjee

    Save lions – the king of the animal world!

  • Phyllis

    Protect the Big Cats in their native habitat
    We have to protect the native habitats
    & strive to end today if not yesterday
    despicable practice of
    ‘canned hunts’

  • Phyllis

    Spread the word to protect the Big Cats
    while defending their native habitats
    speak out loud & clear
    to make ‘canned hunts’
    illegal now!

  • ajay ram

    what date is the world Lion day

  • Arthur Harding

    It being my 60th birthday today, I am excited about the coincidence. Yay, lions!

  • Janie D. Enochs

    It is Heartbreaking to hear the awful things happening to these Beautiful Lions. I will wear my “Cause an Uproar” T-Shirt proudly and hopefully attract many other lovers of these tremendous and most Awesome Big Cats!!

  • Ros Lindley

    There is a strong initiative in South Africa against ‘canned hunting and breeding’. So, when next in our neck of the world, make sure you do not unwittingly visit one of these private ‘preserves’ which allow you to handle Big Cat cubs, take photos of yourself, etc – Find out first if they are legit and NOT promulgating this dispicable tourism.

  • Janie D. Enochs

    It is heartbreaking to think that one day we would not see these awesome and Beautiful Lions!! I will wear my “Cause an Uproar” T-Shirt to help spread the word to do everything in my power to SAVE these Exotic & Gorgeous Big Cats !!

  • Jorge de la Canal

    PLEASE!!! Help the lions, and all wild species, and help US, so our grand grand children can still have the opportunity to enjoy and admire these magnificent creatures! Why is it so that humans are the only species in the planet that destroys his own home? Let’s change our minds!!!

  • Ralph Shumaker

    Great thought on saving the “cat family”, but before you get so high & mighty. Consider having the big lions and tigers in you own back yard ready to make a feast upon you anytime you make a false move. It’s kind of like the “environmentalists” who criticize energy companies but live in air conditioned and heated homes and drive cars everywhere they go.

  • keerthikumar

    Lions, tigers and other wild animals population is decreasing ,In Karnataka Forest earlier days 1000 of tigers were there and it has reduced to double digit.Wish the Govt. of Karnataka will take necessary steps to save tigers!

  • Susan Rassai

    Thank you for bringing attention to this magnificent animal! You have my support and I hope many more will join the cause to save big cats in the wild.

  • Valérie

    It is sad to see these beautiful animals disappear. Also let us unite to ban this barbaric practice that is “Canned Hunting”. Shame on all those people who are cowardly kill a lion through a cage. Shame on them!

  • Michèle Bertrand

    Save the lions…the king needs the fool.

  • Amy Conger

    Lion runs are my idea. Then build rivers and lake around that.

  • A. Rod (@arodriguezmex)

    I do not want to devalue the work of NG, but for example the BOMAS program will not be successful if the invasion of the territories of wild animals not end, if man continues to expand the animals will have no place to live and hunt prey.

    To the communities witch building a BOMA MUST agree not kill lions for killing their livestock, is the price for invading their territory.

  • Michelle King

    YAY…my family and I will celebrate in some special way…and we will spread the word. My youngest son especially elated because he is a Leo, and a huge lion lover, born on August 10th and his life’s mission is to “fly around the world and teach everyone how to take better care of our planet cause it is all we have and everything matters” TEACH our kids that ALL of this matters and that one million stars with ONE!

  • Harriet St.Amant

    Allegedly PETA has the philosophy that extinct is better than captive. With the wonderful work that many of the world’s zoos are doing to preserve species that are extinct in the wild, with the hope of reintroducing these animals to the wild, would not our planet’s wildlife be better off without the likes of PETA? When our family visited the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC, several years ago, we were told that they housed at least 20 different extinct-in-the-wild creatures. They were being lovingly and humanely cared for and were fascinating to see.

    LSU’s Mike the Tiger lives in circumstances much more luxurious than most of us who love him. He has a wonderfully landscaped 3-acre habitat (kept clean and neat by groundskeepers), an air-conditioned “house,” and his own private pool. He gets fed nothing but the best fresh meat and has a team of skilled veterinarians and handlers at his command. We are well protected from him by double fences and bullet-proof glass. More importantly, these same features plus a metal mesh “roof” protect him from us — at least any of those of us who would wish him harm. That he’s also an exquisitely beautiful animal is an added benefit for those of us who love him.

  • Chanelle Wiggins

    I will celebrate this day by telling everyone I know and researching lions today.

  • madalice

    I would like to just comment on a remark by Harriet, animals are not meant to be in zoo’s there natural habitat is where they are meant to be, other then us keeping them conformed to our requirements, would you like to live in a house where you are not able to go anywhere and see the same thing day in and day out and behind the doors you would become depressed, cat’s need stimulants to keep them from becoming depressed. I as I human would prosper to see people become more informed about stuff like this reason being the top comment, animal’s ruled before humans and we take it all away to live better and have more and forget what effect we are having on the ecological being of earth. I will do anything to celebrate and make room for the animals to roam til the next regeneration of earth.

  • Peter

    here is some footage that we got of a days-old lion cub on our trip to kruger park! amazing!

  • Robert Haile

    Awesome, a word used to describe man’s attitude toward God, comes to mind when I think about lions. They are incredibly beautiful, amazing, but a terrifying adversary. I just wish we all could honour them with such respect.

  • Sherry Meyerhoff

    I am sad to read that 95% of our African Lions are gone! I’m hopeful that the Big Cats Initiative will help, it’s a shame that we as a ‘people’ can’t do more to protect these amazing creatures…..before they disappear forever!

  • Mia Johnson

    Will spend this weekend as a Docent working at the African predator exhibit talking about lions and what we are doing to help them.

  • Suresh Sikharam

    The magnanimity of a Lion can only be enjoyed in its natural habitat. An effective way to protect this species is to raise awareness in the masses such that humanity sees the importance of having them around. Our greatness lies in protecting and preserving them.

  • Lesley

    If I was fortunate enough to be independently wealthy, I would dedicate my life and fortune to the protection of the world’s big cats. I’ll happily support World Lion Day with my love and prayers – and a small contribution to BCI. My hope is that the success of these programs will enable my granddaughters 30 years hence to show their children the power and beauty of the magnificent animals. Thanks so much for what you do.

  • Danièle Arnaud

    Those ranches should be outlawed and the trophy hunters put in jail for life.

  • S.Mohan

    Instead of US government giving billions to Israel and Egypt to buy weapons and kill each other , they rather support this projects to safe the apex predator in African wild. Mankind due to greed are destroying nature everywhere. More and more human and wold animals conflicts are happening. In Malaysia , they literally wiped all the wild animals in Peninsula Malaysia because of palm oil plantations. Every one must chip in for this good cause.

  • Aussie Ravi


  • Barbara

    I don’t think building fences to protect livestock from being eaten by big cats or any other predator for that matter is the answer to the problem, I am a massive big cats of all kinds fan, since I am a Leo my self in astrological terms and a tiger in Chinese astrology.
    The answer lies in human behaviour not animal behaviour, stop the hunting for pleasure or monetary gain, stop the degradation of the natural habitat for all the animals, so the natural cycle of life can exist as it was intended by nature itself, there is always prey and always a hunter in whatever pecking order it comes in.
    It’s called survival and evolution does happen usually controlled by mother natures uncontrollable hands, be it drought or some natural disaster and more, sadly human-beings are becoming less and less humane, more and more animals, creatures, fish, plants all wildlife are becoming extinct and endangered at our greedy selfish hands.

    Human beings for some reason feel it is their god given right to take whatever they like and claim it as their own, destroying the planet the environment and the very balance of nature, in turn destroying plants and food chains for many beautiful animals from minute to huge, creatures many of us have probably never seen and don’t even know exist.

    We think we are in control of our own destiny and can do anything we want, to a degree we can, we think we are so clever, so clever that we are destroying our own habitat and we will one day not so far away be the ones endangered and about to become extinct, who will save us??
    We think we can fix anything with medicines treatments and transplants but this is only exacerbating things by living longer and becoming over populated, we are living in an ever growing concrete jungle destroying our own habitat, as well as all the beauty and wonders that surround us every day, the fresh air we breathe constantly just to survive is a gift of nature.
    More and more natural disasters will happen as we interfere with her balance and as she wields her mighty sword and sweeps it across our boughs to teach us a lesson that we never seem to hear and she fights a constant battle to keep things centred.
    We are raping the core, of oil gas precious gems, metals and minerals, we are interfering with the food chain, natural cycle of life, the sea, many well known fish are endangered but are we eating less? creating less demand to slow down the fishing and giving them a chance to regenerate healthy stock naturally, of-course not we are like sheep, told its healthy so we must eat more, much of the sea is becoming baron and empty of fish, there are plenty of other healthy foods we can eat and grow to stay healthy, everything in moderation, destroying the jungle, changing the atmosphere and now even trying to mess with the weather, as well as doing things to each other that would have been Frankensteinian and barbaric at one time, with experiments and transplants of all kinds.
    I’m sure a lot of computer games are part of the problem causing people to become desensitised to killing things, from other human-beings to nature the environment, creatures and animals of all kinds.

    It seems our appetite for more more and even more is insatiable!
    Pure greed!!!!

    Don’t kill what maybe you in your next life!

    Be thankful, grateful, appreciative and above all respect the gift of life, the planet it’s environment and Mother Nature.

    Yours truly
    In Awe of the planet Universe and Life itself

    P.s Sorry it’s a bit long, but I get passionate about this kind of thing and will be looking at another way such as maybe adopting a big cat to make my contribution to their long happy and natural survival.

  • Charles Roth

    I strongly support World Lion Day. I will support ANY effort to protect wildlife, wherever they live. They are important to our planet and our lives as humans. Their lives and beauty are a treasure to be preserved.

  • aussie ravi

    IT is a every single individ’ual take a oath that they want do any thing stupid that leads to the extinct of lions in the world!

  • S.Chandra

    It is our prime responsibility as the wise, wise man- Homo sapiens sapiens to not only to be proud of our biodiversity but also pass the legacy of conserving the Biodiversity for the forthcoming generations. I shall ensure to carry forward the message of the Importance of Taking Pride of the Leo species and ensure the propagation of its pride and preserve the grandeur of this species.

  • Rajesh Laik

    The need of the hour is to make a law against the hunters, charge a fine, or imprisionment for life time, will prohibit hunters to hunt lion and many animals which are valuable to safe guard the ecological niche, system, This measure for the hunters needs to be implemented immediately around the GLOBE, In India Sunderban Delta, also faces the similar problem.

  • Dinesh Choudhary

    I do follow world Lion day and encourage all my friends to visit national parks so that money can be collected for the safety of these incredible animals.

  • Nick

    lets help save these big cats before there are none left to save!!!

  • Michele Iannone

    in one picture only … a lot of lions …

  • Humayun Iqbal

    I will always stand by to save the Lion population anywhere in the world leaving no stone unturned in this noble cause to save one of the Brilliant Cat of the wild as I love to see them around till the end of the world.The magnificent Lion king of the Animal Kingdom.

  • guduru n rao

    I celebrate WORLD LION DAY with Lions friends Happy Lions Day

  • prabirkumarray

    Its a reality. We human beings love only saving lions from death is uncommon to us. So let us change ourselves.i personally ready to save such an animal.

  • Gerald Hobbes

    This story has got to fit into the mix somewhere. Check out Norwalk, CA – all of LA is fascinated by the chance that there’s an African lioness walking the streets. A video has been deciphered by experts, but the image is still in question. Meantime, shops are making t-shirts with the lion’s image, a screen play was announced yesterday — the town may even make the lion its official mascot. Crazy – but very cool! Lions rule!

    African lioness in Norwalk? Experts analyzing grainy video
    Los Angeles Times
    The footage — posted on the city of Norwalk’s Facebook page — shows what looks like a large cat strolling across a driveway in the 11500 block of Tina …
    Large Cat Seen Prowling Norwalk Neighborhood ‘Not A Mountain Lion’ – CBS Local
    Full Coverage

  • Jasmine G.

    Go Michelle King! I am right with you. I hope your son becomes a well-known lion-saving force one day. Born on world lion day – what an amazing creature to behold.

  • Dhumketu Trivedi

    I feel very happy to see Lions in our Gir Forest, Gujarat.I like to see exclusive photographs on NG page..The only Royal Animal on this earth ……

  • Dhumketu Trivedi

    I am proud of our Gir Lions….

  • prabir kumar ray

    Lion dadu should be observed by us , the Indians.we have project on government lebel for proper shelter for this big cat.But on this we are taking a vow to spread this great cat among school going kids and youth.a sepetate syllabus could be adjoined to make them serious of knowing about them. It is wrong that they are rude. How do they love they love their young ones?how do they live with other animals in the forest?

  • Bharat Bhushan

    this is need of the hour that the world should come out to protect lions. it may be possible one day we will see the lions only in pictures and tv documentaries.

  • Bharat Bhushan

    this is need of the hour to protect the Big cat’s. nevertheless one day we will see these wonderful creatures only in pictures and documentaries.

  • Vijaykumar G. Jorwekar

    Realy interesting photografs.

  • Rukhsana rafiq

    My grandson like yours all programs about lions and wildanimals. And he also born in Augest 17

  • Viveca Joy Skyles


  • Paul Wangsmo

    Save the real kring!

  • PE Shipley

    I hope that we who care and are active are not too late to help the Big Cats of the World. Nat Geo’s Cause an Uproar has done fantastic things to help these beautiful, massive and awesome cats. How fortunate every house cat parent is…when you live with a kitty, you also live with a miniature version of a cat in the wild…albeit lion, tiger, cheetah , puma, bobcat, African wild cat, leopard, panther… Peter, USA many, many thanks for the vid on UTube of newly born lion cub! Priceless indeed.
    Please support BCI and CAU and your local animal welfare organizations that truly have cat welfare as their creed.

  • Dean

    Hey we can feed the lions all the stupid politians we have here in the USA. But seriously we cannot afford to let the lions down. There loss would be a global tragady

  • Trai Anfield

    For World Lion day I am releasing Part 2 of my film ‘Lions: Saving A Species’.

    You can watch both Parts 1 & 2 at!community-videos/c21q8

    The film was shot over two trips to Kenya – the first one one hugely positive, the second little short of devastating.

    What happens in Part 2 of the film has really brought home to me just how serious and immediate the plight of lions in Africa is – if they continue to be killed at current rates they will be extinct in 20 years.

    The second part follows – sometimes in harrowing detail – what became of the beautiful young pregnant lioness Nashipai, who had been collared and tracked by the Mara Naboisho Lion Project in Part 1 of the film.

    Having followed Nashipai during the collaring and afterwards, Part 2 was a heartbreaking follow up to make. I often ended up editing it in tears. But hopefully it will help to highlight one of the many complex issues around lions and people sharing limited space and resources.

    Part 1 is already used by Niels Mogensen of the Mara Lion Project to raise awareness at all of his volunteer, community and fundraising events. When I met up with Niels recently he said “What you managed to say in those three minutes is just so useful. We use the film all the time. When it comes on, that’s when people start to get excited about what we’re doing and engage.”

    I hope MLP will find Part 2 just as useful, even though it’s a difficult watch.

    Please share the films, feel free to use them in your own campaigns for lion conservation and do please let me know if they help.

    Views, Likes and positive testimonials help me gain much needed funding to continue the work.

    Thank you, and best wishes to all working towards lion conservation on World Lion Day

  • Melissa Coad

    These cats are sacred… Pray the poachers see what so many of humanity sees soon

  • Ian Colley

    Yes, save the lions so they can attack and tear apart many of those vicious, dangerous, plant-eating antelopes, gazelles etc.

  • Fred Jeynes

    I understand the herders’ need to protect their cattle. Is there a fund anywhere that pays herders for their cattle losses due to lion killings? That would provide an incentive to herders not to kill lions because they would be paid the value of their losses rather than killing the lions. If there is such a fund, I would be happy to contribute and help prevent, or at least reduce, these lion killings.

  • sor Ba

    After years and years of hunting for trophies and poaching and cinema and all the trash, may be time has come to take care not only of lions but of all sensible beings.

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