Monday, June 25, 2012

Nat Geo - Photo Gallery: Big Cat Cubs

Photo: A lion cub sitting in tall grass


African Lion Cub

Photograph by Beverly Joubert

An African lion cub rests in the tall grasses of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Once ranging across the African continent and into Syria, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, and even northwest India, lions have declined to as few as 20,000 animals from about 450,000 just 50 years ago.

Photo: Close-up of a leopard cub


Asiatic Leopard Cub

Photograph by Steve Winter

An Asiatic leopard cub in the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar (Burma) became an orphan after hunters killed its mother to sell her body parts for use in traditional medicine. In 2010, the entire valley—about the size of Vermont—was designated by the government of Myanmar as a tiger sanctuary, a major conservation step that protects big cats and other rare species throughout the territory.

Photo: Two lion cubs playing


Lion Cubs Playing

Photograph by Beverly Joubert

Lion cubs play in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Loss of habitat, prey decline, pesticides, and even canine distemper and tuberculosis have caused lion numbers to quickly decline across Africa.

Big Cats Initiative

National Geographic is working to avert the extinction of lions, tigers, and other big cats with the Big Cats Initiative, a comprehensive program that supports innovative projects. Learn how you can help save these animals.

For just $5, you can help save big cats by uploading a photo of your little kitty here.

View the Rest of the Slideshow!