To match feature story ENVIRONMENT-CITES-LIONS.
A lion is seen walking in Kenya's national park Masai Mara in this March 2004 file photo. Even the King of the Jungle needs a hand staying alive on his own turf. That is what the government of Kenya thinks as far as the majestic African lion, a symbol of the continent and one of its most feared predators, is concerned. The Kenya Wildlife Service is pushing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to give the African lion, panthera leo, its most protected status. Current conservative estimates place the African lion population at 23,000, Kenya wrote in its proposal. Picture taken on March 2004. FEATURE MATCHER REUTERS/Radu Sigheti NO RIGHTS CLEARANCES OR PERMISSIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS IMAGE RSS/THI