Looking for Lions

As one of “Big Five” must-see safari animals of Tanzania, lions captivate and thrill thousands of safari travelers each year. I too was drawn to Africa to hopefully catch at least a glimpse of these magnificent carnivores.

A male lion on the plains of the Serengeti.

A male lion on the plains of the Serengeti.

Lions are simultaneously beautiful, cute, playful, fierce, hunters, killers, loving mothers, social, loners, invaders and murderers with relationships complex enough for a daytime soap opera script. But there is one relationship that threatens to permanently wipe this species from the savanna, and that is the relationship between lions and the humans that surround their habitat.

A lion pride surrounds a kill.

A lion pride surrounds a kill.

Lion biologist Craig Packer will explore this complex subject with his talk, “The Other Safari,” at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 2. He’ll discuss his work with the Serengeti Lion Project—work aimed at ensuring lions continue to thrill future generations.

Lincoln Park Zoo is also on the front lines of the relationship between humans and wildlife. Through the Serengeti Health Initiative’s domestic-dog vaccination program, we are mitigating the spread of disease from domestic dogs to both humans and Serengeti wildlife such as the Serengeti lions.

The zoo-led vaccination campaign protects the Serengeti's people, pets and predators against diseases such as rabies and distemper.

The zoo-led vaccination campaign protects the Serengeti's people, pets and predators against diseases such as rabies and distemper.

I just started another field season in the Serengeti, and I’m thrilled to be able to help preserve this magnificent species that Craig has done so much to study.

Anna Czupryna

Research Coordinator Anna Czupryna studies domestic dog population dynamics near Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Her work is one part of a zoo-led vaccination campaign that protects the region’s people, pets and predators.

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