Martina kwenda
The demise of Lions and Leopards

The demise of Lions and Leopards

To put things in context, we all have moments in our lives that we can’t seem to catch a break! Just when you think you have reached rock bottom then rock bottom digs another bottom you didn’t think could exist after you been that. Remember those times that is how animals feels at the humanity and too bad for them but they can’t speak for themselves so we have to speak for them.

According to Derek Joubert of the Cat Odyssey on National Geographic there used  to be 450 000 lions on planet earth and we have reduced them to 20 000. That’s almost 95% of their population that’s gone, it’s estimated by 2050 there won’t be any lions left at the rate at which we are going. In a world where thede carnivores are an extinct species the herbivores will thrive and there will be overgrazing and we all know what overgrazing does.

It’s the brutality at which these beauties are killed that aches my heart. For sport normally and occasionally for their teeth for medicines and their skin for witchdoctor. It’s just sick sometimes l really wish l was not counted among humans. So an estimated 5000 animals are killed per year. For every licence allowed 20 to 30 lions are killed. So imagine mother nature is already rough on them and now they have humans as threats.

Leopards on the other hand will be extinct because of their distinctive beauty coats. There are about 50 000 Leopards left and 2000 are killed each year according to the National Geographic. Leopards are solitary animals only team up to mate. Besides us killing them for coats they die from loss of habitat as we destroy their habitats due to deforestation. Mother nature is also brutal they are killed why trying to get food for survival or by their nemesis lions and hyenas! So don’t you think the brutality of  nature on its own is harsh that we humans should be protective of them? Imagine when an earthquake or flood happens or all the man made disasters occur they are left vulnerable and we want to add to the wound by killing them.

Why am l passionate about cats you may ask it’s their resilience and how uncanny sweet they can be . It’s rare to see Elephants being attacked by lions but they sometimes risk it for their survival. They definitely want to live. They usually attack babies but  Derek and his wife  where in Duma sometime back and they saw first hand how a pack of lions dared to attack a huge elephant. It was heartbreaking and exhilarating to watch but breathtaking to see this elephants zeal it fought for it’s life and was waved by the strike of lighting that occurred and it survived.

Another exciting story happened in the Okavango Delta Desert in Botswana a Leopardess called Legadema did something amazing. She was a young leopadess that was just starting out on he own and her first kill was a Baboon. When she made the kill she then realised the Baboon had a baby and our hearts broke but to our suprise she fought the instinct to kill and motherhood ( though she wasn’t a mother yet) she saved the baby. She natured it and played with it. That first night she and the baby Baboon slept peacefully side by side! Isn’t that beautiful even animals got hearts so why don’t we ?

When l watch national geographic l marvel at how kids are kids no matter what species they are. I saw a lioness mother with four cubs needing to cross a crocodile infested river and two of the cubs refusing to cross that they spend the night separately and the mother was stressed but relieved when she found her cubs alive and well and they scared by being alone were very eager to cross the river with their mother and join their family. Or siblings Max and Leo who grew to rule their own Kingdom with Leo being stubborn always upto to no good endangering himself and his brother having to rescue him.

Oh and let’s not forget The Misfit lion cub rejected by his mother and family because he had a permanent limb. He was defiant to live even when his mother refused to nurse him he survived followed the pride till his bother decide to give him a hand until his family had no choice but to accept him. Even with his birth defective grew up to have his own Kingdom.

Or the weird moment a leopard and a hyenas made an unusual friendship inorder to survive. Or how a young Leopardess had to grow up fast and fend for itself and her mother after her mother got injured.

I could go on and on but l think you get the idea. These cats already don’t have easy lives so let not make it more unbearable by causing harm. We need these beauties and without them the earth will not be able to function properly so we need them.So let’s help on creating safe spaces for these creatures and allow them to thrive peacefully and allow them to die on their own terms…. hope you hear me ????????????????

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