The Last Lion

Recently we visited Big Cat Habitat in Florida. It is  facility that gives homes to large cats that cannot survive in the wild. I was surprised learn that the big kitty shown above was possibly the last Barbary Lion. The Barbary Lion is the lion with the full mane on the males. A bit of googling explained that the last wild Barbary Lion was killed in the wild nearly a hundred years ago. Since then the lion has only survived in captivity. Evidently it is easy to breed lions in captivity, it would have been only necessary introduce male and female Barbary Lions together. Evidently the last female Barbary Lion died some time ago. I am hugely disappointed. It was the Barbary Lion was the lion of choice in the Roman Colosseum. The Barbary Lion was the model for Disney’s Lion King. In our animal world, the Barbary Lion is the king of kings.

With the environmental awareness of the last hundred years I am appalled that somehow someone was not able to continue the lineage of this great beast. I hear stories about millions spent to preserve some odd snail or fern. In the meantime the greatest beast of all has been ignored.

I believe that animals can see and sense things that we humans cannot. I wonder what that last great cat thinks when he looks at us. What does he see…

[Edited to correct the faculty name]

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3 thoughts on “The Last Lion

  1. This lion is NOT at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa. We do not have this lion at our accredited facility. I believe you are thinking of the non-accredited pseudo-sanctuary in the Sarasota area called Big Cat Habitat. They exploits tigers and lions in their circus act and I see a circus ring in this photo.

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  2. Thank you Susan. I will update the story. I had picked up your brochure and become confused. I do applaud all efforts to preserve these magnificent creatures.

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  3. You’re welcome. If you’re ever back in the Tampa area, let me know and I’ll show you around our GFAS-accredited sanctuary. Thanh you.

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