By Jalal Al-makhfi:
October 3, 2012
Almost a century after a French colonial hunter put a bullet in what came to be viewed as the last Atlas lion living in the wild, a Moroccan zoo is struggling to claw the fabled subspecies back from the brink of extinction.
The majestic animal, also known as the Barbary lion and once common across north Africa, was eventually declared extinct after the 1922 hunt that saw it vanish from its natural environment. But, remarkably, a few dozen individuals survived in captivity, and the newly opened Rabat zoo is fighting to save the bloodline and raise numbers to a viable population. “For a long time, it was thought that the species had disappeared. But it turned out that Sultan Mohammed V (the current king’s grandfather) had some Atlas lions in his private park,” said…
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