Pattaya City, Thailand
Brink Of Extinction
Photograph - Digital Photograph
On a recent trip to the UK, friends of mine took me to visit a few places I'd never been to before for animal photography, and though I was delighted to observe and capture images of nine different species/subspecies of felines for the first time, and as beautiful and impressive as each one was, the one that completely took my breath away was this magnificent Barbary Lion (aka Atlas Lion aka Nubian Lion) at Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent.
Though I had heard of the Barbary Lion of Northern Africa, I have to admit that I only read up on them after returning home, and the first thing I discovered saddened me greatly. I have had the privilege of working with quite a few vulnerable (VU), endangered (EN), and even critically endangered (CR) animal species, but the Barbary Lion is the first I've come across that is in fact completely extinct in the wild (EW); the last one shot and killed in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in 1922.
Knowing this now, back home in Thailand, has me wishing I had stood there in the freezing cold admiring this male even longer than I did, as heavy as my heart would have been.
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April 30th, 2013
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