Monday, January 21, 2008

Behind bars - Rabat Zoo

I recently spent three days in Rabat, Morocco to field a proposal to create a tourism/species conservation centre for Barbary lions in the Atlas mountains. The Barbary, or Atlas Lion went extinct in the wild during the early 20th century. Later it was proposed that the Sultan of Morocco's private collection would likely have specimens of this subspecies within it. In the 1970's these lions were transferred to Rabat zoo, and some later came to our park. Without proper breeding management over the decades, none of the remaining captive lions housed in zoos around the world are likely to be 100% Barbary lions on a genetic level. But it's the closest thing we have left.

Unfortunately the Moroccan authorities ultimately decided not to go ahead with the idea.

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