A pair of rare Barbary Lion cubs born at a Czech Republic zoo park offer hope for a threatened lion subspecies that's already extinct in the wild.
The yet-to-be-named cubs were born on May 10th at the Dvur Kralove park, located in the Hradec Kralove region of Czechia.
Closely guarded by her mother, Khalila, the cubs* – one male and one female – have emerged from their den and can finally be viewed by the public.
Barbary Lions once roamed the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea from Morocco eastward to Egypt.
As human populations in North Africa increased, however, intense pressure was placed on wild lions to the point that they were functionally extinct by the early 1960s. These days only about 100 Barbary Lions remain – all of them in captivity in zoos and safari parks around the world.
The 72-hectare (180-acre) Dvur Kralove zoo park, which specializes in African fauna, has witnessed the birth of more than 200 giraffes over the past three decades so you know they know their way around rare wildlife.
Let's hope these new Barbary Lion cubs will thrive in their non-native but caring environment, helping to lay a basis for future generations of this iconic species. It's the circle of life! (via PhysOrg)
* these images come courtesy of Flickr member Tambako The Jaguar, and show cubs Cesar and Cleo at the Plättli Zoo Frauenfeld (Switzerland) in 2016.