African Lion

African Lions

Scientific Name

Panthera leo


South Sahara desert, Southern and Eastern Africa



Conservation Threats

Habitat loss, poaching for body parts used in traditional medicine in Asia and Africa, killing in response to livestock losses, reduction of prey base

Saving Lions

with Ruaha Carnivore Project

Lions are iconic species, but few people realize how threatened they are.  There are now as few lions left in the wild as rhinos. Zoos can play a vital role in raising awareness of this issue, and generating funds for critically needed conservation work. Naples Zoo is a great example of this in action, and through their support, they are improving the future not only for lions but also for the people who live alongside them.”
Dr. Amy Dickman
Director, Ruaha Carnivore Project

10% of Africa's Lions Live in Tanzania's Ruaha Landscape

To equal Ruaha National Park’s size, you need to combine Everglades, Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, and Yosemite National Parks! To conserve this stronghold, Ruaha Carnivore Project reduces human-carnivore conflict and develops other research-based conservation strategies. Naples Zoo is grateful to be able to support these efforts to save lions in this important landscape.


To reduce retaliatory killing of lions, the project helps predator-proof livestock enclosures and trains former lion-killers to become Lion Defenders. To encourage conservation, villages which maintain lions and other wildlife on their land receive community benefits, focused on education, healthcare, and veterinary medicine.  Working together, the project has succeeded in decreasing carnivore killings by 80%.

“The approach is always to work together with the community, rather than impose our own ideas.”   
             Dr. Amy Dickman

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