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World Lion Day

In honor of World Lion Day on August 10, visitors to Franklin Park Zoo will have the opportunity to learn more about these majestic animals and why conservation efforts on their behalf are so important. 

Today, it is estimated that there are between 25,000 and 30,000 lions living in Africa, which is a staggering decline of 80 to 90 percent compared to the estimated 250,000 that roamed the continent in 1975.

Lions Box

“These iconic animals have long captured the hearts and minds of people of all ages who are drawn to their commanding presence and amazing hunting prowess,” said John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO, adding, “The recent death of Cecil the lion serves as an important reminder that these animals face a host of threats in the wild where their numbers are dropping at alarming rates. It’s critically important that we raise awareness and work on their behalf so that future generations will be able to share the planet with these magnificent animals.” 

As apex predators, lions serve an important role in maintaining balance in healthy ecosystems. According to the IUCN, rapid declines have been recorded in East Africa – historically a stronghold for lions, mainly due to human-lion conflict and prey decline. In the wild, lions face additional threats including habitat loss, unsustainable trophy hunting practices, poaching, disease and inbreeding.

At Franklin Park Zoo, visitors of all ages have the opportunity to see 6-year-old lion brothers Dinari and Kamaia at the lion exhibit located within Kalahari Kingdom. In celebration of World Lion Day, there will be crafts and activities for children, as well as the opportunity to learn more about these incredible animals by visiting with the Zoo’s education staff. All activities will occur between 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on August 10. 

In honor of World Lion Day, we will also be unveiling a plaque in memory of Christopher the lion, a longtime favorite at Franklin Park Zoo. At age 21, he was among the oldest lions within the North American population in facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums when he passed away in April.

World Lion Day schedule:

  • Plaque unveiling: 10:30 a.m. with remarks from John Linehan, Zoo New England President and CEO
  • Cake generously provided by Montilio's Baking Company will be provided first-come, first-serve, beginning at 10:30 a.m.  
  • Education station: 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Arts and crafts: 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.