World Wildlife Day, as proclaimed by the United Nations takes place on 3rd March each year and is the most observed wildlife recognition day throughout the world. It is key to raising awareness of the plight of some the world's most precious and endangered species, with this year's theme celebrating big cats. Big cats are now severely under threat by human activity in their natural habitat and have seen significant declines in numbers, "for example, tiger populations plummeted by 95% over the past 100 years and African lion populations dropped by 40% in just 20 years", as cited on the official UN World Wildlife Day website. They are by far one of the most popular and beloved animal groups and are synonymous with the untamed natural world. To increase the scope of awareness, World Wildlife Day is celebrating all big cats of the world. From lions and tigers; the old favourites, to lesser-acknowledged but nevertheless outstanding species such as the caracal and the mountain lynx.
In preparation for World Wildlife Day 2018, we're showcasing our most exceptional images of these extraordinary animals. And from the cub to the cougar, we've got it covered. Here are the best of big cats from across the Picfair collection.