Lions are the most social of the big cats and once ranged across the world, in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. They have long been a symbol of power and majesty for people of many different cultures. However, lion populations are currently considered to be vulnerable, and certain subspecies, such as the West African lion, and the Asiatic lion, are nearing extinction.
The current total population of lions is difficult to determine, but most estimates put it at around 30,000 animals. While populations of lions are often protected, they face pressure from declining habitat.
National Geographic estimates there are now more statues of lions in the world than there are living lions.
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