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Lioness Spotted in Chad’s Sena Oura National Park for First Time in 17 Years – A Sign of Hope for Endangered Species

Conservationists from the Chadian government and New York City-based nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have released a photograph of a lioness in Chad’s Sena Oura National Park.[0] The big cats have not been seen in the park since 2004, leading to their classification as technically extinct in the area. However, the WCS has reported that lion populations in neighbouring Cameroon’s Bouba N’djida National Park have been increasing and that the animals appear to be recolonising parts of their former range, including Sena Oura.[1] Lions in West and Central Africa are classified as critically endangered, with populations declining by 66% since the early 1990s.[2]

The photograph shows an adult lioness in her prime who appears to be in good health.[3] This is a hugely encouraging development, according to WCS Big Cat Programme executive director Luke Hunter, as prime females are the bedrock of lion populations and tend to live in areas that are safe for raising cubs and have sufficient food.[1]

Hunter believes that the image could be an early sign of the lion population’s recovery in the region.[4] Fewer than 1,000 northern lions remain in the wild, and the subspecies is genetically distinct from the southern lions found in southern and eastern Africa.[4] The WCS has praised the commitment of the governments of Chad and Cameroon to conservation, which has led to improved protection of national parks and a recovery in wildlife populations.[5]

0. “‘Extinct' lion spotted in Chad's Sena Oura National Park after almost 20 years” 1430wcmy.com, 21 Apr. 2023, https://1430wcmy.com/2023/04/21/extinct-lion-spotted-in-chads-sena-oura-national-park-after-almost-20-years/

1. “Africa’s Chad sees return of extinct lion!” India Narrative, 21 Apr. 2023, https://www.indianarrative.com/science-news/africas-chad-sees-return-of-extinct-lion-134585.html

2. “‘Extinct' lion spotted in Chad's Sena Oura National Park after almost 20 years” The Pulse of NH, 21 Apr. 2023, https://thepulseofnh.com/news/world-news/extinct-lion-spotted-in-chads-sena-oura-national-park-after-almost-20-years/

3. “‘Extinct’ lion caught on camera in African national park” Fox Weather , 20 Apr. 2023, https://www.foxweather.com/earth-space/extinct-lion-sena-oura-chad-africa

4. “Creature thought ‘extinct’ in African park spotted for first time in decades. See it” Miami Herald, 21 Apr. 2023, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article274578421.html

5. “This Lion Was Spotted in an African National Park for the First Time in Decades — It Was Thought to Be Extinct” Travel + Leisure, 21 Apr. 2023, https://www.travelandleisure.com/extinct-lion-spotted-chad-africa-national-park-7483617

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