Lion spotted in Chad National Park for the first time in almost 20 years


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An image of a female lion in Sena Oura National Park in the central African nation of Chad was released on Thursday, the first such image of a lion in the park in “nearly two decades,” officials said.

According to a press release from the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society, a picture of a “beautiful lioness in her prime and clearly in the best of health” was captured on February 22 by a “remote controlled camera.”

A lion has not been seen in the national park for nearly 20 years, officials said, adding that the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers lions in the Sena Oura area to be “technically extinct”.

Lion spotted in Chad National Park for the first time in almost 20 years
A remote control camera image taken February 22, 2023, of a lion in Chad’s Sena Oura National Park.

Wildlife Conservation Society/Government of Chad

Overall, the IUCN classifies lions as “Vulnerable” on its Red List of Threatened Species.

The governments of Cameroon and Chad have shown a commitment to conservation that has helped protect the national parks, the WCS said, and in turn has allowed wildlife populations to recover after a period of organized poaching more than a decade ago recover.

Last month, Critically endangered West African lion cubs have been caught on video in Senegal. The sighting of the three cubs has given hope that the revered West African lion population may be revived.

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