Africa’s incredible protected areas hold the key to securing the future of lions…


This is an extract from a recent report by Panthera, a global wild cat conservation organisation Billabong Zoo, Port Macquarie supports.

“In recent years, lion numbers have declined steeply. Some estimates suggest as few as 20,000 wild lions remain in all of Africa, compared to 30,000 that existed just two decades ago. Yet, the study indicates that with sufficient global support for African conservation efforts, the continent’s protected areas could support as many as 83,000 free-ranging lions.”  

read the full report at

Last chance to enter our March 2017  Lion photo competition.  

Here are some of the entries so far: 

Morgan: “Feeling a bit tired… might have a cat nap!” | Faith:  “If  could just work out how to do this winking thing, my keeper would know she’s my favourite and give me the extra meat!”  | Geoff:  “Those kids were delicious…..shame they get stuck in your teeth.”  |  Christina: “I think there’s something stuck in my teeth, you think you could get it out.”  | Samantha:  “The face you make when you tell your Mum you’re hungry and she tells you to eat some fruit.”

Surely you can do better. Enter the competition today. The winner pf the Photo Caption Competition will win an Up-close Personal Encounter with one of Billabong Zoo’s animals – see our website for details of the Encounters available

African Lion Conservation: Project Leonardo

This month (March) Billabong Zoo is highlighting the work of a great Conservation organisation  – Panthera – who are undertaking measurable actions to help the plight of African Lions.

Panthera is the only organisation in the world that is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 38 wild cat species and their ecosystems.

Project Leonardo

The first conservation plan that encompasses the lion’s entire African range, Panthera’s Project Leonardo aims to protect lions in the key lion conservation landscapes that remain, including in and just outside key African national parks, and build or support corridors that guarantee their safe passage. The program’s overall goal is to bring lion populations back to a minimum of 30,000 individuals within 15 years.

After identifying Lion Conflict Landscapes, or areas where lions are under the greatest threat, Panthera introduces tools and techniques tailored to specific lion populations and surrounding communities. These measures include mitigating human-lion conflict by working with villagers to implement better animal husbandry techniques, supporting local law enforcement in their efforts to reduce illegal hunting, and sustainably managing legal hunting.

Using high-resolution satellite imagery, surveys, motion-triggered remote camera traps, and other innovative technology, Panthera’s scientists are able to survey and monitor lion populations, helping to identify populations in jeopardy and assess the effectiveness of implemented conservation actions.

Panthera is currently leading or supporting efforts in 15 of the 27 lion range states in Africa, including Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


Please enter our African Lion photo competition. To enter simply click on this link and enter your details and caption and send. This great photo of one of African Lions at Billabong Zoo was taken by Jennifer Baker.  The winner pf the Photo Caption Competition will win an Up-close Personal Encounter with one of Billabong Zoo’s animals – see our website for details of the Encounters available

Winner to be announced early April 2017. We look forward to reading your captions.

Billabong Zoo, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 – African Lions


This month Billabong Zoo, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444 is highlighting the work of a great conservation organisation – Panthera – as part of our “Conservation through Education” programme. This is an extract from their website :

“Lions have undergone a catastrophic decline and are on the brink of extinction in all but the largest and best managed national parks. Just over a century ago, there were more than 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Today, there are only about 20,000; lions are extinct in 26 African countries and have vanished from over 90 percent of their historic range. Though lions still exist in 27 African countries and one Asian country, only seven countries are known to each contain more than 1,000 lions. Lions are currently listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In West Africa, the species is now classified as “Critically Endangered.” 

To read more about their hands-on conservation programmes visit the Panthera website.

For information about the two Ambassador lion cubs at Billabong Zoo click this link.