World Lion Day [10th August]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Nov 14, 2022, 9:53

World Lion Day is observed globally on 10th August every year to celebrate the 'King of the Jungle.' The mighty lions have been the centre of human fascination for centuries across borders and have symbolic importance in many cultures. But sadly, this magnificent beast has witnessed a sharp decline in its population. As a result, World Lion Day is celebrated to demand an immediate call to action.

Established by Big Cats Rescue, Lion Day aims to make people aware of the current plight of lions and the challenges they face to survive. Learn more about this day, its theme, history, and significance here.

World Lion Day 2023

Although the lion species do not face the immediate threat of extinction, they are still listed as vulnerable species. In the last few decades, the lion population has halved; presently, there are only 30,000 to 100,000 lions on the entire earth. Therefore, World Lion Day is celebrated with the motive of raising awareness about the decreasing lion population and demanding the conservation of their habitat.

Moreover, Lion Day is also about speaking against captive breeding and the illegal trade of lions. Here, we have shared a brief overview of the day:

Event Name

World Lion Day


10th August (annually)

Established By

Big Cats Rescue

World Lion Day Theme 2022

Asiatic Lion


To promote habitat conservation for lions and spread awareness about their vulnerability as a species.

Lion Day - The Role of Lions in the Ecosystem

World Lion Day is observed to celebrate lions and spread awareness about the threats faced by these animals. Lions are an indispensable part of the ecosystem. They are responsible for keeping the population of grazing animals in check and ensuring ecological balance. Further, lions can also be credited with keeping the population of their prey healthy and resilient. Targeting the weak members, they help in disease control among the prey population.

Why is Lion Conservation the Need of the Hour?

  • Lions have disappeared from 80% of their historic range in the past century.
  • Originally, lions graced the forests of Africa, Asia, North America, and the Eurasian sub-continent. Sadly, their range today has been limited primarily to Africa and some parts of Asia.
  • They currently exist in 27 African countries and 1 Asian country. However, only 7 of these countries contain more than a thousand lions.
  • Research estimates that the number of lions has declined from 30,000 to about 20,000 in the last two decades.
  • Poaching, trophy hunting, and habitat loss are the major threats contributing to the species' decline.

World Lion Day - History

Lion Day was established by Big Cats Rescue, an organization working for the welfare, preservation and protection of lions and tigers. The first event for World Lion Day was held in 2013. This day was co-founded by Dereck and Beverly Joubert of the Big Cat Initiative in partnership with National Geographic.

This initiative has spearheaded over 120 innovative projects to protect the big species in 28 countries. The primary goal of World Lion Day is to protect and preserve the remaining lion species of the world.

World Lion Day Significance

Known by the scientific name 'Panthera Leo,' lions are considered one of the most majestic animals on earth. Weighing between 300 to 550 pounds, they are the second-largest cat globally after Asian Tiger. World Lion Day spreads awareness about this animal species and the dangers that they face. Here is why celebrating this day is so significant:

  • Cultural Significance - Lions occupy an important place in the history and culture of our and other countries. In fact, even the Indian national emblem is adorned with this phenomenal creature on all four sides.
  • Danger of Extinction - Lions are already a vulnerable species, and to protect them from eventual extinction, we must take certain protective measures.
  • Abuse & Trade - Sadly, lion trade and abuse are prevalent in the world. Lion Day spreads awareness about this menace and encourages world leaders to take appropriate action against it.

Lion Day Objectives

Lions were listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Therefore, World Lion Day was created with three primary objectives:

  • To increase awareness about the declining lion population and other plights faced by the species.
  • To find ways to protect their natural environment and create more habitats, like parks and reserves, for their preservation.
  • To educate people on the dangers of living near the big cats and how to protect themselves from the fearsome creature.

World Lion Day in India

Lions have a huge cultural and religious significance in India. So, World Lion Day is observed in the country on a pan-India level. India primarily houses the majestic species of Asiatic Lions. These lions inhabit the protected areas of Gir National Park and Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat. On the occasion of World Lion Day 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared two great pieces of news:

  • The majestic Asiatic Lion living in Gujarat's Gir Forest has increased their population by almost 29%. The numbers went up from 523 in 2015 to 674 in 2020.
  • There is also a 36% rise in the distribution area geographically. The distribution area increased from 22,000 sq km in 2015 to 30,000 sq km in 2020.

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FAQs on World Lion Day

Q1. When is World Lion Day celebrated?

World Lion Day is celebrated on 10th August each year to spread awareness about the decreasing population of lions in the world. This day also aims to highlight the challenges and threats faced by this species in different corners of the world.

Q2. Who founded International Lion Day?

World Lion Day was co-founded by Dereck and Beverly Joubert of the Big Cat Initiative in partnership with National Geographic. The first Lion Day was celebrated in 2013. Since then, this initiative has motivated 120 unique projects for lion conservation.

Q3. What was the World Lion Day 2022 theme?

World Lion Day theme 2022 was Asiatic Lions. This theme kept the species of Asiatic Lions at the centre and highlighted the vulnerability of extinction faced by this species. Each year, a new theme for World Lion Day is shared.

Q4. Why do we celebrate World Lion Day?

We celebrate World Lion Day to raise awareness about the threats faced by the global lion population. Another aim of the day is to motivate leaders to advocate for lion conservation. The first World Lion Day event was held on 10th August 2013.