Target: President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma
Goal: Protect South Africa’s white lions, which are threatened by both habitat loss and trophy hunters
Over half of Africa’s lion species have become extinct and only 12 of the most unique white lions are left. The white lions offer an important genetic marker as a subspecies of lion that are native to the third-largest biosphere on Earth, according to the United Nations. White lions keep their ecosystem strong as a keystone species or apex predator, weeding out the sick and dying. For the sake of other species’ health, white lions must be kept alive. Although the white lions’ homeland in South Africa was declared a sacred spot by African kings long ago, the land is now established as a national park. Nevertheless, the non-trophy hunting prohibitions and lack of boundaries for both the white lions and local landowners remain a threat.
The white lions can be hunted in their natural habitat as well as in enclosures. With more lions generally living in enclosures, it is easy for trophy hunters around the world to come and to kill them. The trophy hunters’ actions come at a cost, though. Long-term ecological harm is inflicted on the white lions for a short-term profit for the trophy hunters. Their actions also trample on the spirits of indigenous cultures that truly revere lions.
Since the loss of lions brings both ecological and cultural damage, the revitalization of white lions requires help from the government as well as the local people. Programs are underway to educate and to foster a sense of pride in South Africa in order to rally the government and to live sustainably for the white lions’ habitat preservation.
Please advocate for legislative protection and established boundaries to save the rare white lions of South Africa.
Dear President Zuma,
White lions are amongst the Big Five of Africa’s animals that are critically endangered along with elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos. I am writing to urge you to stop the slaughter of white lions by trophy hunters and to ensure that they can remain in their natural habitat. Protective legislation and established boundaries must be enacted quickly in order to save the white lions.
All species of lion are critical for South Africa’s ecosystems. Lions serve as keystone species or apex predators, eating only when hungry to remove diseased or dying animals. To round up the white lions and to allow people to slaughter them is a cruel way to repay them. Not only does the lack of government intervention harm the white lions, but it also harms the people of South Africa who have a deep respect for the animals. Please take action now to protect the rare white lions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SA via Creative Commons