Camera trap captured a few-year-old lioness in Sena Oura National Park in Chad. Big cats, including lions, have not been seen at this location for nearly 20 years. The photo, which was shared with the media a few days ago, was called “brilliant”.
The image of the lioness, captured by a camera trap in February, was released Thursday by a team of conservationists from the Chadian government and New York-based NGO Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The press release described them as “brilliant”.
“In the picture we see a healthy adult lioness of about five years old,” Luke Hunter, director of the WCS Big Cats programme, which focuses on the conservation of wild cats, told the BBC. “I’m sure she wasn’t alone,” he added.
“It’s encouraging because healthy, stately females are the backbone of any lion population, and they’re not great wanderers: they live in areas where they can get food and feel safe enough to raise their cubs,” Hunter said.
The WCS said the lions were last seen in Sena Oura National Park almost 20 years ago. As noted by the BBC, in 2014 representatives of the Red List of Threatened Species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) stated that these animals in the park were extinct.
The cause was intense poaching. For some time, the government of Chad has been fighting this practice and focusing on nature conservation, which – according to experts from the WCS organization – gives visible results. “This has resulted in better protection of national parks, and wildlife populations are now starting to recover,” the organization adds.
Main photo source: Wildlife Conservation Society/Government of Chad