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Lions who were released relax in a remote regions of a 4,500 square kilometer Zambeze Delta area of Mozambique. A hundred years ago, there were over 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Mozambique's wildlife was decimated by the country's civil war and subsequent poaching in the last twenty years. Today, leading researchers estimate the population to be 20,000 or less, with lions now extinct in twenty-six African countries. This ecosystem has made a remarkable recovery, except for its lions. Dr. Byron du Preez estimates that this project of releasing twenty-four lions will increase the number of lions to as many as 500 within fifteen years and may even represent a full ten percent of the world's wild lion population within twenty years. The lions were donated from carefully selected game reserves around South Africa.