Skip to Content
male African lion walking outside in habitat

Protect the Pride

To celebrate the release of Disney’s The Lion King, the upcoming groundbreaking feature film, we are highlighting how all of you can help us save lions in the wild by coming to see our pride.

Saving More Wild Lions

Every time you visit our pride of lions at the Houston Zoo you are helping us protect 20% of the wild lion population in Africa.

Since Disney’s The Lion King was first released in theaters 25 years ago, we have lost half of Africa’s lions. Only 20,000 remain. While community efforts are expanding to help protect lions, there is much more to be done. Our guests help us provide support for local people to arrest illegal hunters and find solutions to live peacefully and safely with lions in Africa.

Watch lions on the big screen and then see our pride in person to help save them!
Show your The Lion King movie ticket during your visit to the Houston Zoo and SAVE $3 per ticket. Discount is limited to six Houston Zoo tickets per order at the gate only. Not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other discounts.
Offer valid July 18-August 25.

Disney launched The Lion King “Protect the Pride” campaign in conjunction with the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund and their partners in effort to double the lion population by 2050.

Get Involved

Adopt a Lion – Become a proud conservationist of a Houston Zoo lion today! By adopting a lion, you not only help in the care and feeding of this animal, but also support education and lion saving programs in Africa.
Adopt a Lion

Experience a Big Cat Training – Get up close with our beautiful pride and see first-hand how keepers build relationships with these amazing felines and hear about what we are doing to save them in the wild!
Members $195/person / Non-members $220/person
Learn More

Make a Donation – You play a crucial role in increasing our ability to save more lions in the wild. Your donation will assist with education and animal care programs, and lion protection work in Africa.
Donate Now

Share on social media – Tag us during your next Zoo visit with our lions by including #TheLionKing and #ProtectThePride.

Meet some of the Houston Zoo 2019 Wildlife Saving Leaders

John Merishi, a Maasai from a village near Amboseli National Park, has worked to protect lions in Kenya with Lion Guardians since 2015. Merishi now supervises 45 Guardians (local staff that protect lions) – he provides them with training and all of the support they need to be successful in saving lions.  John also works with and supports the local community to find solutions to live peacefully alongside wild lions.

“John was chosen because of his leadership skills and his overall ability to relate to a variety of people to save lions.”

Darem began working for Ruaha Carnivore Project in Tanzania as a Lion Defender in March 2013. Like the majority of people from the traditionally nomadic Barabaig tribe, Darem saw lion hunting as a traditional activity. Darem has shown amazing dedication and passion to saving lions since joining the team. When he first started his work he was often turned away by the community, because of his choice to protect lions, and had to work hard to convince the young local people to stop lion hunting. He continues to be a key leader in preventing conflict by finding lost livestock and reinforcing traditional livestock enclosures, and preventing wildlife killing by persuading warriors to stop lion hunts.

“Darem was chosen because of the incredible work he is doing with lions, and because he became an example for his community by learning math and how to read.”

Five Pride Lion Conservation Alliance Members

  • 25 wildlife guardians trained
  • 55 children from 4 villages participated in 4-night long bush visits
  • 13 full secondary school scholarships supported

Donate to Niassa Carnivore Project:

Donate Today

  • 40-50 lions are being monitored. Individuals are identified using unique whisker spot patterns.
  • Ewaso Lion Project staff member Jeneria was chosen by the Houston Zoo Admissions team to receive the Wildlife Warrior Award.
  • 122 children attended Lion Kids Camp.
  • 5 students sponsored to attend secondary schools.

Donate to Ewaso Lion Project:

Donate Today

  • 650 people participated in tours into Ruaha National Park
  • 16 children funded through secondary school
  • 28 lion hunts were prevented/stopped
  • 9 Anatolian Shepherds were placed with farmers to help prevent lion attacks on livestock.

Donate to Ruaha Carnivore Project:

Donate Today

  • 37 lion hunts stopped
  • 189 bomas (livestock enclosures) reinforced to help keep out lions
  • Lions Guardians are able to predict a lion’s identity correctly approximately 90% of the time.

Donate to Lion Guardians:

Donate Today

  • Increases the capacity of local partners to secure viable populations of lions and other large carnivores.
  • Works to develop wildlife compatible livelihoods.

Donate to Lion Landscapes:

Donate Today