Almost a century after a hunter killed the last Atlas lion living in the wild, a Moroccan zoo is struggling to claw the fabled subspecies, also known as the Barbary lion, back from the brink of extinction.
Although the lion was declared extinct in the wild in 1922, the 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 — the park that eventually became the Rabat Zoo, and just celebrated the birth of three lion cubs.
(READ the AFP story in MNN)