Down from as many as 200,000 lions a century ago, some experts believe that there could now be as few as 20,000 individual lions remaining in the wild today. That number is likely falling by the day.
Panthera, a wild cat conservation organization, believes the most serious causes for the declining of lions include wild prey depletion, accidental snaring, and habitat loss along with humans killing them to protect their livestock, poorly managed trophy hunting, and the illegal wildlife trade.
There is no single solution for protecting lions; overcoming these threats will be no easy feat since their risks are so varied. It will require specific doings in certain locations, depending on what’s the cause for the decrease in the lion population, to help fix this problem.
For lions that are inside protected areas, some experts argue that we must fence lions in to stop them from causing problems with people. However, this has earned criticism from others who believe that fences will cause significant ecological and economic costs by disrupting the migration of herbivores. The issue over ‘to fence or not to fence’ has turned into a bit of a cat fight, showing the political nuances and ecological complexities of conserving such a charismatic species.
Focusing on lion populations in Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia, their community conservation efforts empower locals to be stewards of wildlife. By turning lion poachers into guardians, they have reduced lion killing by up to 99% in some of the areas in which they work. Instead of young warriors showing their bravery by killing lions because of their culture, they are now employed to track lions and monitor their activities.
In a bold attempt to reunite conservationists, Pride, the Lion Conservation Alliance, has brought together five lion NGOs to pool their efforts and share funding. The areas where lions are known to have lived in the past (red) versus where they survive today (blue).
Other solutions could involve more corporate partnerships and financially linking lion lovers in the West to Africans living with lions. It’s certainly clear that if we want to have lions in our future, we must start coming up with the cash for their conservations, and stop encouraging those who hunt or poach them as well.
How TV and Movies Were Influenced by Real-Life Celebrity Pregnancies
There’s no denying that actress Scarlett Johansson is a bombshell — women envy her curves and guys obsess over them. With that being said, you’d think she would have no problem wearing a skin-tight lycra bodysuit for her portrayal as Black Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It turns out that Johansson had gotten pregnant right before filming started. Not only did the filmmakers fast-track certain scenes but they also hired three different stunt doubles for action scenes that Johansson had to shoot. For the most part, the director was successful in hiding Johansson’s pregnancy although you can actually peep her baby bump in the picture below.
Sarah Jessica Parker
There’s no denying that Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw has flawless style and there’s no one better for the part than actress Sarah Jessica Parker. During season five, Parker was pregnant with son James Wilkie Broderick. To hide her bump, the wardrobe department went all out, which resulted in what can be considered the world’s most fabulous maternity-esque wardrobe. Although Carrie looked absolutely flawless, HBO ultimately cut the season in half to give Parker — and the costume department — a break.
Let’s be real here — there isn’t anyone better fit for the part of Olivia Pope than actress Kerry Washington. With that being said, it makes sense that Scandal still had to continue despite the fact that Washington became pregnant during the third season. The writers opted out of making Olivia pregnant and instead found different tricks to conceal Washington’s growing bump. During an interview with ABC, the actress revealed that her crew was able to tactfully hide her belly “behind flowers, behind Prada purses, behind big coats and capes.”
Will & Grace is an NBC hit show that originally aired from 1998 to 2006, ending after a total of eight seasons before making a comeback in 2017. In the first few seasons of the show, Debra Messing’s character — Grace Adler — wore tighter clothing. It wasn’t until season 6 that Grace’s style changed significantly to baggier clothing in order to hide Messing’s actual growing belly. During this season, Messing is also usually holding something in front of her to hide her baby bump even more. Some shots of her seem to be a little more obvious than others…
Let’s be real here — Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was already pretty epic. Now, add the fact that the Israeli actress was actually five months pregnant while filming the superhero blockbuster and you’re absolutely mind-blown, right? Although she wasn’t carrying during the initial photography shoots, she did have to return to the London soundstage to reshoot some scenes and at this point. Because Gadot was very much showing at that point, the wardrobe department had to adjust her costume to hide her belly.
Marcia Cross is best known for playing roles on various daytime soap operas. She gained higher recognition as the conservative housewife, Bree Van de Kamp, on the ABC television series Desperate Housewives. While filming the third season of the show, Cross was actually expecting twins. The showrunners not only shot the actress mostly from the waist up but they also had her use different props to conceal her steadily growing stomach until it became far too obvious that she was pregnant. That’s when they decided that Cross’ character would fake a pregnancy towards the end of the season.
Into the Woods is a musical-fantasy film based on Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 Broadway musical. When it came time to shoot the movie, actress Emily Blunt — who played the baker’s wife — was already seven months pregnant. Since Blunt’s character wasn’t supposed to be pregnant, production had to find a way in order to conceal the actress’s baby bump. According to Blunt’s co-star Meryl Streep, “they were constantly putting James Corden [the Baker] in front of her belly, raising her apron higher and higher.” When that didn’t work, though, they used a few other tricks. “I was hiding behind every tree in that wood!” Blunt revealed in an interview.
Angelina Jolie’s 5’7 stature and thin frame made it easier to hide her pregnancy while she was filming Clint Eastwood’s emotionally grueling 2008 drama, The Changeling. The award-winning actress kept her pregnancy a secret until close to the end of the shoot. Despite the fact that Jolie already had four kids at the time, her role as a grieving mother who loses her son made the actress want to become a mom again. She got her wish just months after the film wrapped when she and her then-husband Brad Pitt welcomed twins, Vivienne and Knox.
It turns out that the Jemima Kirke, Jessa on HBO’s hit show Girls, spent much of her time shooting while pregnant. Although Kirke was ready to pass on the role of Jessa because she wasn’t back to her pre-pregnancy figure, Lena Dunham convinced her to shoot the show’s pilot just 20 months after having her daughter. Then, Kirke announced that she was carrying again during the second season. Luckily, the creators had some experience in hiding Kirke’s postpartum belly during the pilot so they used the same tricks while filming season two — hiding her belly under flowy gowns that suited her character.
Reese Witherspoon is an award-winning actress, producer, and entrepreneur. While filming Mira Nair’s 2004 historical drama Vanity Fair, Witherspoon was actually pregnant with her second child with actor and then-husband Ryan Phillippe. In order to hide her growing baby bump, Witherspoon’s character — Becky Sharp — wore lots of dark, flowy, empire-waist gowns that were actually perfect for concealing her pregnancy. The film’s aesthetics, with a combination of rich sets and low lighting, gave Witherspoon plenty of ways to hide her belly while filming her scenes.
Based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War, Homeland is an American spy thriller series starring Claire Danes as CIA operative Carrie Mathison. Like Carrie, it’s clear that Danes doesn’t play around. How do we know? Well, when Danes became pregnant with her and husband Hugh Dancy’s child while shooting the second season of the show, she continued to work and had producers photoshop her pregnant belly when it started becoming a bit too obvious. We think it’s safe to say that both Carrie and Danes are empowered women who mean business.
Ellen Pompeo is an award-winning actress who gained worldwide recognition for — you guessed it — Dr. Meredith Grey on ABC’s popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. While filming the sixth season of the long-running series, Pompeo was actually pregnant with her and husband Chris Ivery’s first child. It was thanks to shapeless scrubs and creative angles that Pompeo was able to get away with her pregnancy. When her belly got too big to hide, though, producers had her character donate part of her liver to her father, which allowed the actress to take time off the show as Meredith went home to recuperate.
There’s really no denying that Mad Men‘s Betty Draper is known for being well-dressed and well-coiffed. A vain woman, Betty cares very much about her looks and weight. When the actress who played her (January Jones) became pregnant before filming the fifth season, the show writers had to figure out a way to make it work. Rather than minimizing her growing belly under layers of clothes, the writers decided to put Betty through her own worst nightmare by making her overweight. That’s right — they slapped a fat suit on Jones who was already carrying a baby. We guess show business ain’t always so glamorous after all.
Helena Bonham Carter
Known for her eccentric and unconventional sense of fashion, Helen Bonham Carter is an award-winning English actress. After signing on to make Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Carter found out that she was pregnant. Of course, it didn’t hurt that director Tim Burton was her long term life partner at this point. To conceal Carter’s growing belly, Burton fast-tracked the production before it became too obvious that the actress was carrying. Wardrobe and dim lighting did the rest.
You may recognize Anna Chlumsky as the lovable Vada Sultenfuss from 1991’s My Girl. After taking a hiatus to attend college, Chlumsky returned to the entertainment industry. From 2012 to 2019, Chlumsky portrayed Amy Brookheimer on the HBO television series Veep. While filming the second season of the political satire, Chlumsky found out she was pregnant. By the time they shot the last episode of the season, showrunners had to get a little creative in order to hide the actress’s growing belly. Luckily, “it took place in the winter so everyone’s wearing jackets anyway,” according to Chlumsky herself.
When you’re a real-life goddess, like Halle Berry, skin-tight suits aren’t usually a problem. Well, that is until she found out she was pregnant while filming X-Men: The Days of Future Past. At this point, she was already a few months into her first trimester so it makes sense a good portion of her scenes were fast-tracked. During an interview on the Queen Latifah Show, the award-winning actress revealed that because she was that far along in her pregnancy, “it was different. I had to shoot really fast. Two weeks was about as much as I could do before I was busting out of the suit.”
Jane Krakowski is an award-winning actress and singer best known for her portrayal as Jenna Maroney on NBC’s comedy series 30 Rock. When the 51-year-old actress became pregnant while filming the sixth season of the show, Tina Fey and the rest of the 30 Rock crew decided against writing that into the storyline because as they put it, “no child should have Jenna Maroney for a mother.” Instead, they concealed Krakowski’s stomach with big coats and even a giant dog costume.
When actress Kelly Rutherford — Lily van der Woodsen on The CW’s Gossip Girl — became pregnant while filming the second season, show creators decided against making her character pregnant as well. After all, Serena and Eric wouldn’t be too pleased to find out that their three-time divorcée mother is having another child. Instead, the wardrobe department dressed Rutherford in oversized sweaters, gowns, and scarves. Plus, they had her carry massive handbags and newspapers to conceal her growing bump.
And Homeland had yet another pregnancy that they found a way to hide. When Brazilian-born actress Morena Baccarin became pregnant while shooting the third season of the series, producers used “state-of-the-art technology and cunning filming techniques” to conceal the baby bump aside from using a body double. According to the actress, she was a little apprehensive when it came to telling the showrunners that she was pregnant because she “had a sense of responsibility to my job.” Luckily, though, they found a way…
When New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel became pregnant while filming season 5, writers needed to find a way to hide her growing baby bump. That’s when they sent her off on jury duty for a few episodes and we have to say that the juror’s bench concealed her belly rather well, actually. Since the show didn’t stop there, though, Deschanel’s character was sequestered when it was actually time for the actress to give birth. Rather than just relying on the already established cast to fill in, producers brought Megan Fox to live in Jess’ apartment while she was away.
There’s no denying that the medical drama series ER depicted many pregnant characters especially when you consider the fact that the show ran for 15 years. Still, pregnancy for Parminder Nagra’s character wasn’t necessarily a vision that the showrunners had, which is why they found a number of ways to hide the actress’s real-life baby bump. Aside from wearing loose scrubs — ya know — because her character is a doctor, Negra concealed her belly behind different props including X-ray film and medical carts.
When actress Melissa Fumero became pregnant while shooting season 7 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the show’s writers and producers didn’t even try to hide her belly from viewers. Instead, they used her baby bump to their advantage by writing a storyline in which Fumero’s character — Amy Santiago — pretends to be pregnant as a part of her disguise when she’s sent to a women’s prison as part of an undercover operation. During an interview with People magazine, Fumero revealed that her baby “was born, like, five days after we wrapped. I don’t recommend it.” Kudos to you, Melissa!
When How I Met Your Mother‘s Cobie Smulders — who plays Robin Scherbatsky — told producers that she was pregnant with her and husband Taran Killam’s baby while filming season 4, they opted to hide her pregnancy rather than writing it into the show. This meant that the Smulders, as well as the showrunners, had to heavily rely on the wardrobe and props department in order to conceal her steadily growing baby bump! Aside from wearing looser clothing, Smulders hid her belly behind big purses, newspapers, and shopping bags.
This may come as a surprise but actress Blake Lively was actually pregnant with her and husband Ryan Reynolds’ child while she was filming the 2016 shark horror film The Shallows. Not only was she in a bathing suit for most of the film but she also filmed most of the stunt-heavy scenes herself. How can anyone be that perfect?! Anyway, the Gossip Girl star was newly pregnant so she was barely showing. As filming went on and her belly continued to grow, the film’s post-production team used CGI to make her character’s body look consistently trim.
Actress Kristen Bell played Jeannie van der Hooven on House of Lies. While shooting the second season of the series, Bell revealed that she was pregnant with her and husband Dax Shepard’s first child. Being that Bell’s character, Jeannie, was very romantically active at that point, she was in no position to have a child so the filmmakers completely took out her baby bump using CGI. By the time Bell had gotten pregnant for the second time, her character had evolved and was ready for children of her own so the filmmakers worked Bell’s belly into the plot.
Kate Winslet is an English actress who’s especially known for her work in period dramas including films like Titanic. The award-winning actress also happened to play the main antagonist in the first two films of The Divergent trilogy. While filming 2014’s Divergent, Winslet was actually five months pregnant. In order to conceal her baby bump, the wardrobe team dressed Winslet’s character in lots of black clothing. They also strategically placed iPads and folders in front of her belly.
There’s no doubt that the hit ’90s sitcom Seinfeld just wouldn’t be the same without the lovable Elaine. With that being said, the show had to continue even when the actress that played Elaine — Julia Louis-Dreyfus — was pregnant…twice. During an interview with Vogue, Julia actually revealed that all of the “oversized clothing was helpful to me as a pregnant person, both getting more and more pregnant, and then becoming less and less pregnant after giving birth, you know ’cause it takes a little time to get your body shape back.”
Spoiler alert(s) ahead! Actress Angela Kinsey played the uptight and judgemental Angela Martin on the American mockumentary sitcom The Office. During season 4, Kinsey became pregnant. Although her character becomes pregnant with Dwight Schrute’s baby a few years later, the writers chose to conceal Kinsey’s actual pregnancy behind swan-shaped ice sculptures and shooting her from the waist up. At this point, Dunder Mifflin’s head of accounting was cheating on Andy with Dwight so we think it’s safe to say that writing a baby into the show would have been pretty dramatic. Then again, that could have also made for yet another unforgettable episode…
Isla Fisher is an Australian actress known for her roles in films like Wedding Crashers, The Great Gatsby, and Now You See Me. While filming the 2010 John Landis-directed comedy Burke and Hare, Fisher became pregnant with her and husband Sacha Baron Cohen’s second child. Considering that the film is set in 1828, Fisher’s costumes actually worked in her favor, although she was only a few months along. Still, the wardrobe department dressed the Aussie in Regency-era layers of gowns, capes, and fur hand warmers.
Amy Poehler was in the middle of filming NBC’s sitcom Parks and Recreation. By the end of shooting season 2, the production team found out that the funny gal was pregnant with her and then-husband Will Arnett’s second son. They decided to shoot the first six episodes of the following season right then in order to avoid having to conceal her growing baby bump. As time went on, though, Poehler’s belly became more visible so they had to find ways to hide it. In an episode called “Time Capsule,” the creators used different props to hide Poehler’s showing stomach.
Call us crazy but isn’t it a little ironic that Courtney Cox got pregnant while filming the final season of Friends even though her character Monica isn’t able to have kids of her own? This meant it was vital for the show creators to find a way to conceal Cox’s growing baby bump whilst Monica and Chandler waited for their surrogate to give birth. If you take a closer look at the last season, you’ll notice that Cox is dressed in long, baggy tops and scarves. She’s also constantly shot behind objects like tables and even other characters on the show.
In case you didn’t know, Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen was actually pregnant during the pilot episode! Looking back at this episode, it’s almost hard not to notice that she was eight and a half months pregnant. She constantly hid herself behind baggier clothing, oversized couch pillows, and laundry hampers. Even though the actress was ready to pop at any point, she begged her representation and the show creators to let her have the role. She loved the script so much that she wasn’t about to let it go.
The Cosby Show‘s Phylicia Rashad was pregnant at the perfect time — during the ’80s when oversized shirts with shoulder pads were the total norm. The show’s creators didn’t have to do very much to conceal Rashad’s growing baby bump. Her character, Claire, didn’t have to change much about her wardrobe. Not only did the showrunners use different camera tricks to hide the actress’s belly but they also went the extra mile by scooping out the mattress of the set’s bed so her stomach wouldn’t show.
British actress Naomi Watts didn’t learn she was pregnant with her and then-partner Liev Schrieber’s second son until she was already three weeks into shooting David Cronenberg’s Russian-mob thriller Eastern Promises. The news only came after the award-winning actress decided to shoot her own stunts, like hopping on a motorcycle and driving through real traffic for a scene. Although Watts didn’t share her pregnancy with anyone on set at first, she “did have to tell them in the very end really because I didn’t want to do any more motorbike riding.
For all you Friends fans — this one’s for you! Being that it was such a unique sitcom for its time, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the show’s creators had a unique way of handling Lisa Kudrow’s pregnancy when it came time to shoot the season. Rather than hiding Kudrow’s belly as they did with Courtney Cox in the very last season, the writers decided to make the pregnancy a part of the script, which is how Phoebe Buffet became a surrogate mother to her brother and his wife, eventually giving birth to triplets!
Although ABC’s television drama Mistresses only lasted four seasons, Alyssa Milano actually became pregnant while shooting the second season — something showrunners had to work around. They kept the actress’s pregnancy under wraps by having Milano’s character wear big purses and coats, or stand behind strategically-placed objects. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Milano joked that “hiding the pregnancy is kind of always like a Saturday Night Live skit. My purses just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.”
Emilie de Ravin
Once Upon a Time is an American fantasy-adventure drama that aired on ABC from 2011 to 2018. When actress Emilie de Ravin — who plays Belle on the show — found out that she was pregnant, writers and producers of the show didn’t really have much of an issue. Considering the nature of the show, they could easily just write the pregnancy into the storyline, and that’s exactly what they did. Because Belle was scared that Hades would take her baby away, she decided to put herself under a sleeping curse, which meant that Ravin could officially go on maternity leave.
So, it turns out that Cobie Smulders wasn’t the only actress on the set of How I Met Your Mother to conceal a baby bump. In fact, Alyson Hannigan, who plays Lily Aldrin, also revealed to producers that she was pregnant during the shoot of season 4. That’s right — Smulders and Hannigan were pregnant at the same time. Although the creators decided to hide Hannigan’s pregnancy as well, they did make references to her steadily growing belly when her character, Lily, wins a hotdog eating contest and shows off her “full belly.”
The Nanny is a classic sitcom starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine — a Jewish fashion queen from Flushing, New York who becomes the nanny to Maxwell Sheffield’s three children. Anyway, when actress Lauren Lane — who plays C.C. Babcock — became pregnant while shooting season 5, producers were stumped as they had never dealt with an issue like that before (after all, it was the ’90s). Since it didn’t really make sense for Lane’s character to be pregnant at that point, they decided not to add it to the storyline. Instead, they hid the actress’ belly behind props like this poster that ironically has the word ‘BABY’ written on it.
When The King of Queens’ Leah Remini got pregnant while shooting season 6, the writers didn’t want to write it into the show. Instead, they made her character — Carrie — unemployed and had the actress wear baggy clothes, like bathrobes and sweatpants, in order to make her pregnancy weight gain seem intentional. While the showrunners thought they might have gotten away with this, the storyline just didn’t make much sense considering that Remini’s character takes care of herself and wears form-fitting clothes.