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The killing of a much-loved lion called Cecil by an American big-game hunter in Zimbabwe in July 2015 sparked international outrage. It also drew world attention to shrinking numbers of the 'king of the beasts' and yet their continued hunting for sport. There are no lions left north of the Sahara and their range in southern Africa has shrunk considerably. Two subspecies have already gone. With numbers down to just 20,000, many experts believe, that without effective conservation plans in place, Africa's remaining lions will be wiped out by the mid half of this century.
Sara Evans considers the cultural significance of the lion over thousands of years as well as its historic rise and fall as a global species. She also explores the many, and often complex, reasons that explain why numbers have plummeted so catastrophically in recent decades. As humans are the lion's only predator, she asks what is being done to reverse, or at least stem this haemorrhage?
By interweaving vivid personal encounters with Africa's last lions – from Kenya in the northeast to Botswana in the south – visits to breeding projects in the west and their protectors all over the continent, she hopes to answer this question as well as turn the spotlight on the plight of Africa's most iconic and mesmerising animals.
The narrative also includes photographs, illustrations and maps as well as insights from experts in the field
Sara Evans is an award-winning writer and photojournalist, specialising in travel and wildlife. Newspapers and magazines that have featured her work include: Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Independent on Sunday, The Mail on Sunday, The Australian Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Boston Globe, Lonely Planet Travel Magazine, BBC Wildlife Magazine, Africa Geographic, Countryside, and Wildlife magazine. She won the 2005 Independent on Sunday and Bradt Travel Writing competition and has been shortlisted in a number of BBC writing competitions and been a panelist at Bradt travel-writing seminars.