A couple of lions at the zoo
Rabat Zoo (Arabic: حَدِيْقَة ٱلْحَيْوَانَات بِٱلرِّبَاط, romanized: Ḥadīqat al-Ḥaywānāt bir-Ribāṭ ("Zoological Garden in Rabat"), ٱلْحَدِيْقَة ٱلْوَطَنِيَّة لِلْحَيْوَانَات بِٱلرِّبَاط ("The National Park for Animals in Rabat"); French: Jardin Zoologique de Rabat), also known as "Temara Zoo", is a zoological park near Rabat in Morocco that was established in 1973. The first enclosures were built to house lions that were previously kept in the royal palace. These lions were thought to be descendants from Barbary lions.
Conservation for the lion
Given that the Barbary lion is extinct in the wilderness, importance has been given to finding possible Barbary lions or descendants of the Barbary lion in captivity. So far, tests indicate the lions of the zoo are not pure Barbary lions, but descendants of the original Barbary lion. This is partly as members of the Moroccan royal family had kept lions that were captured from the Atlas Mountains.
- Yamaguchi, N.; Haddane, B. (2002). "The North African Barbary Lion and the Atlas Lion Project". International Zoo News. 49 (8): 465–481.
- Nowell, K.; Jackson, P. (1996). "Wild Cats of Africa" (PDF). Wild Cats: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland. pp. Plate I.
- Burger, J.; Hemmer, H. (2006). "Urgent call for further breeding of the relic zoo population of the critically endangered Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo Linnaeus 1758)" (PDF). European Journal of Wildlife Research. 52: 54–58. doi:10.1007/s10344-005-0009-z. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2007.
- Black, S.; Yamaguchi, N.; Harland, A.; Groombridge, J. (2010). "Maintaining the genetic health of putative Barbary lions in captivity: an analysis of Moroccan Royal Lions". European Journal of Wildlife Research. 56: 21–31. doi:10.1007/s10344-009-0280-5.