Right now, a poison made by an American company -- a product that the Environmental Protection Agency says is too toxic for use in the U.S. -- is driving some of the last wild lions of the African plains to extinction.
Just a handful of carbofuran can kill an entire pride of lions. Sadly, this awful poison is still sold in stores (and widely used) across Kenya and East Africa.
50 years ago, it is estimated that nearly a half a million lions could be found in Africa. Now lion experts say that as few as 16,000 remain - a staggering decline of more than 95%. In Kenya, home to world-famous wild lions, the story is especially tragic. If Kenya's lions continue their precipitous decline, there will not be a single wild lion left in the country in 20 years.
Help save imperiled wild lions. Fill out the form below to sign our petition urging Kenya's Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to enact a ban on the sale and use of carbofuran in Kenya and support new protections for the country's remaining wild lions.
Just a handful of carbofuran -- a deadly neurotoxin that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers too toxic for most types of sale in America -- can kill an entire pride of lions. Sadly, this awful poison is still sold in stores (and widely used) across Kenya and East Africa.
The Kenya Wildlife Service estimates that fewer than 2,000 of these majestic great cats now remain in Kenya -- down from an estimated 35,000 that made their home in the country just 50 years ago. According to the agency, one hundred lions are killed each year -- many by carbofuran. If Kenya's lions continue their precipitous decline, there will not be a single wild lion left in the country in 20 years.
Lions play an important part in Kenya's tourist economy. They are the top tourist attraction in Kenya and bring in millions of dollars annually through tourism. And while Kenya is famed for being a country that cares, the decline of lions is giving Kenya a bad image and threatening tourism.
But it's not just revenue from tourism that is at stake. The use of carbofuran to kill lions creates many unintended victims, including vultures, hyenas, jackals and other scavengers. Recently, a Kenyan child was even killed after accidentally ingesting some of this deadly poison.
Even when used in farming, carbofuran is still not safe; exposure is dangerous to farmers, pastoralists, consumers of fruit and vegetables as well as water, wildlife, birds and fish.
For all of these reasons, I ask that you stop the sale and use of carbofuran in Kenya and make sure there is proper enforcement of the ban, lead the way toward a new lion conservation strategy and give lions special protected status to ensure their survival.
Thank you for considering my comments.