When the rhino poaching problem subsides in five to 10 years, wild lions will be gone.
The continent's lion population has shrunk by 75 percent in the past two decades, according to wildlife experts.
They are currently "vulnerable" on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's list of threatened species. In west and central Africa lions are classified as "endangered".
"The facts are these lions are declining at such a pace. We will have nothing left in a few years," conservation group Walking for Lions (WFL) founder Marcus Roodbol says.
"Have we ever thought what we will do when we realise the last lion has been shot or poisoned? What will we do when we sit in the African bush and not hear the lion roar?"
Trophy hunting, human encroachment, poaching, lion poisoning, and human/lion conflict have become a grave concern, prompting educational and awareness campaigns to save the king of the jungle.
In Asia, lion bones have become a popular commodity for healing and traditional purposes.
"This is a huge concern as the market is increasing for lion bones... to make lion soup or lion wine. It's properties were believed... to provide medicinal remedies, which is medically unfounded," says Roodbol.
The expanding agricultural sector has led to lions confining themselves to isolated areas, increasing their risk of extinction.
"We as humans have this ideal image that we can reintroduce lions back into the wild once they are gone. What makes us think this? If we cannot even save the last remaining wild lions and support the local communities living with these animals, what makes us think we can do it later?"
Wildlife photographer and conservationist Christina Bush says the most urgent threat to lions today is widespread use of pesticides and poison by farmers in retaliation for the loss of livestock. More....