End of the line for the Lion King – Report by Bronwyn Ann Howard – 2012

Africa’s lions are facing a new threat from Asia – the lion bone trade. And it appears that South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry may be supplying lion bones and could ultimately fuel demand. We investigate the newest wildlife commodity – one which could compromise Africa’s wild lion populations forever.
Africa’s lions are in trouble. The species has declined tremendously over the past 45 – 50 years on the continent with numbers dropping from almost half a million to between an estimated 20 000 – 30 000 individuals in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UK-based NGO Panthera, lions have vanished from 80% of their historic range and there are now a mere seven African countries believed to hold more than 1 000 lions.