My hope is that National Geographic's wonderful photographs bring the predicament of this critically endangered cat to a new audience who, like most Iranians a decade ago, had never heard of the cheetah's existence in the country.
The lion encounter industry does nothing to conserve wild lions. For my money, I'd stick with the real thing: no matter what the glossy brochures and gushy advertising claim, it won't ever involve tame lions.
Shooting a big cat in the name of "sport" nauseates me; I've spent a career working to conserve the world's great cats. Yet I question the effort to list the African lion under the Endangered Species Act.