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Conservationists try to save underfed lions in Sudanese wildlife park

The emaciated lions belong to an important subspecies that exists only in limited areas including southeast Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia, said Khalda Seliman Mahgoub of the Sudan Wildlife Research Centre.

A malnourished lioness sits in its cage after receiving treatment at al-Qureshi park in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on 23 January 2020. Picture: AFP

KHARTOUM - Conservationists in Sudan are trying to save four lions they say have been underfed and neglected in a wildlife park in the capital Khartoum after one lion died earlier this week.

The emaciated lions belong to an important subspecies that exist only in limited areas including southeast Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia, said Khalda Seliman Mahgoub of the Sudan Wildlife Research Centre.

“Since this is a particular subspecies that we should preserve, I shouldn’t see them in a cage. They should be in their natural habitat,” said Mahgoub.

It was unclear exactly where the lions had come from but the cages in Al-Qureshi park where they were being kept had been constricting their movement, she said.

The lions are now being treated after a plea from the Sudan Wildlife Research Centre and an online campaign pointing out their plight.

Al-Qureshi park receives few tourists and little revenue. Sudan has suffered decades of internal conflict and international isolation and was rocked by months of protests and a political uprising last year.