(LIONS/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) Today, August 10 marks World Lion Day, the first global campaign celebrating the importance of lions across the globe. But this year, the day has a particularly important meaning, with an increased focus on conservation.

Lions are endangered throughout Africa and India, but widespread outrage following the recent killing of Cecil the lion has brought the species’ plight into urgent view.

“Obviously, Cecil put the lions in the spotlight,” said Wim Dekok, executive director of Four Paws, an international organization that operates wildlife sanctuaries. “Unfortunately, what happened to Cecil happened to many lions before.”

African Lion

Even Animal Planet is dedicating 12 hours of programs to Cecil today–airing shows like Big Cat Diary and Into the Pride.

“Cecil’s senseless slaughter is a vivid reminder of how vulnerable these magnificent animals are to human threats,” Animal Planet said in a statement.

Walter Palmer (left) illegally tracked and killed Cecil the legendary lion in Zimbabwe last month. Here, he poses beside one of his many trophy hunts. Photo Credit: Telegraph UK
Walter Palmer (left) illegally tracked and killed Cecil the legendary lion in Zimbabwe last month. Here, he poses beside one of his many trophy hunts. Photo Credit: Telegraph UK

Unfortunately Cecil was just one of thousands of lions whose livelihoods are under threat. Whether victims of trophy hunting, exotic pet ownership, or tourism, these beautiful animals are being treated as disposable commodities and suffering unimaginable cruelty all for the sake of entertainment.

But it’s not too late to take a stand to protect wildlife. We must call on government officials and the tourism industry to take responsibility.

TAKE ACTION: Spread the word of World Lion Day and join the global movement today.

Together, we can help save the lives of animals all across the globe and protect a species from extinction.

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