Pattaya City, Thailand
Atlas Burdened No More
Photograph - Digital Photograph
The title of this one is a bit of a poignant play on words between Atlas, the Titan of Greek mythology condemned to burden the weight of the sky on his shoulders at the western edge of the earth, and the Atlas Mountain range of Northern African, which once supported the largest of Africa's felines, the Barbary Lion (aka the Atlas Lion), a sub-specie of lion now regrettably extinct in the wild.
The Barbary Lion is not the only animal to have become extinct (EX) along the Atlas Mountain range, so too has the Atlas Bear (none in captivity either), the North African Elephant, and the African Aurochs - a type of large wild cattle. In addition to which, the Barbary Macaque and Cuvier's Gazelle are endangered (EN), while the Barbary Leopard and the Northern Bald Ibis are critically endangered (CR).
Information on the internet from sometime ago had the number of captive Barbary Lions somewhere around 160, however, of those there may actually only be a dozen or so with pure bloodlines, as most pairings will likely have been with other sub-species of lion.
Each time I look at any of the four part series I captured of this magnificent Barbary Lion, I find myself wishing I had stayed with him much longer than the couple of hours or so I stood there in the freezing cold on my visit to Port Lympne Wildlife Park (Kent, UK).
Many more of my pictures can be seen over on my website - www.ashley-vincent.com - and if you see one there that you would like to purchase as a print but you do not find it over here in my FAA portfolio, please send me a message or email to let me know the picture title and reference number (both of which you will find under all photos in the galleries on my website) and I will post it up here for you immediately.
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May 14th, 2013
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