26 Apr

A Message from Dr. Luke Hunter: Let Lions Live


The lion is synonymous with wild Africa. Over a century ago, hundreds of thousands of lions roamed the continent, but today, fewer than 30,000 remain. Lions are being shot, poisoned and speared, their habitat is being lost, and their prey is being over-hunted by people. This relentless pattern leaves lions with little to eat causing them to turn to livestock, and fuels the bitter cycle of human-lion conflict.

This rate of decline is catastrophic, and lions need a lifeline now more than ever.  

That is why I am asking you to join Panthera, and to help us, over the next 30 days, raise $30,000 for the remaining 30,000 lions. Every dollar donated will be matched by a generous donor, but only for these 30 days. 100% of your donation will go directly to the field.

Each dollar of our $30,000 goal represents one of the remaining wild lions in Africa. But more significantly, $30,000 can do big things in Africa. It will allow us to halt the inevitable conflict between humans and lions in an entirely new site, or it can cover the costs of two comprehensive lion surveys in a region where little is known. Your donation can make all the difference, for example:

  • $100 a month supports the salary of a local guardian protecting lions
  • $350 a month pays a well-trained park guard to secure and help survey an area
  • $600 covers the costs of constructing one 'boma' - used to protect livestock from lions
  • $1,000 helps cover the costs of an aerial flight to survey or track lions

At Panthera, with our partners, we are targeting areas where the threats are greatest. We are protecting lion populations both within and outside of protected areas, and are addressing head-on the reasons why people are driven to kill lions in the first place. And we are seeing signs of hope.

A good friend of mine in Kenya who works on our programs recently gave me a hint of this. She is often inundated by Maasai children asking to go with her when she goes into the bush to her study site - so they too can see what she sees, so they can see their lions. The only limit is how many kids can fit in the truck. The other day, she received a request to pick up a boy from a remote village. There he was, standing less than four feet tall, waiting for her not in his traditional Maasai attire, but in a suit, with a pin-striped shirt, trouser pants, and a little vest. He had put on his best clothes to 'meet' his lion.  

These generational shifts are happening, but not fast enough. What is needed immediately is to ensure that lions continue to exist in the wild for when children like these become adults. We need your support now to help us secure and protect the last of Africa's lions.

I ask that you donate now and share this information with your friends and family (try passing this along to 30 people) and help us reach our '$30,000 for 30,000' goal in 30 days.

Please help us let lions live.


Dr. Luke Hunter

Executive Vice President, Panthera

P.S. To thank you for your donation of any amount, and for passing this email along to just three friends, you will be given a link to download a unique Panthera screensaver filled with stunning photos of wild lions from across Africa.