World Lion Day is celebrated every year on August 10. Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to extend his greeting to those who are passionate about the conservation of the species. 

He tweeted, “The lion is majestic and courageous. India is proud to be home to the Asiatic Lion. On World Lion Day, I convey my greetings to all those passionate about lion conservation. It would make you happy that the last few years have seen a steady increase in India’s lion population.”

World Lion Day is observed with an aim to educate people and raise awareness about lions and their conservation, as the species is one of the most important members of the environmental food chain. The day further promotes protection of its natural habitat and establishment of more natural parks. 

The Prime Minister recalled the time he served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and said, “When I was serving as Gujarat CM, I had the opportunity to work towards ensuring safe and secure habitats for the Gir Lions. A number of initiatives were taken which involved local communities and global best practices to ensure habitats are safe and tourism also gets a boost.”

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The number of lions has been decreasing over the last few decades. The world has lost as close to 95% of its total lion population in the past five decades. Lions are also listed as vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

World lion day was co-founded by Dereck and Beverly Joubert of the Big Cat Initiative and National Geographic in a partnership with an aim to raise awareness about these big wild cats and promote creation and conservation of more of their natural habitats. The initiative is also known as the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative and works tirelessly to help communities that live near wild cats adopt safety measures.