Without Intervention, Lions Heading for Extinction

Creation Date March 02, 2011 // Posted in: Featured Articles

Terry Gross Interviews Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Fresh Air, WHYY

In 1960, there were 400,000 lions living in the wild. Today, there are just 20,000.

"That represents a 90 to 95 percent decline," says National Geographic explorer-in-residence Dereck Joubert. "Unless we start talking about this, these lions will be extinct within the next 10 or 15 years."

Joubert and his wife, Beverly, have lived among populations of big wild cats for decades. Based in Botswana, the filmmakers and conservationists have spent much of their career documenting Africa's animal population for National Geographic. In their latest documentary project, The Last Lions, the Jouberts follow the dwindling lion population living in Botswana's Okavango Delta as they battle their prey — the buffalo — as well as rival prides.

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