Nature 503, 19 November 2013
Some say enclosures offer protection, others maintain they are a menace. Times are grim for the king of the beasts. Roughly 35,000 African lions roam the savannahs, down from more than 100,000 half a century ago, thanks to habitat loss, declining numbers of prey animals and killing by humans. One study estimated that fewer than 50 lions (Panthera leo) live in Nigeria and reported no sign of the animal in the Republic of the Congo, Ghana or Côte d’Ivoire.