An expedition by the University of Oxford's Conservation Research Unit discovered a hidden population of nearly 200 lions. The lions were discovered in an area of Alatash National Park in Ethiopia that is outside of their known range.
In the savannah of Alatash National Park, the lion sleeps tonight.
This remote part of north-west Ethiopia was considered a possible habitat for lions, but it is seldom visited by people.
Now an expedition by the University of Oxford’s Conservation Research Unit has discovered that lions are indeed alive and well in the park – a rare extension of their known range.
“During my professional career I have had to revise the lion distribution map many times,” says Hans Bauer, who led the expedition. “I have deleted one population after the other. This is the first and probably the last time that I’m putting a new one up there.”
To spot the lions, Bauer and his team set up camera traps on a dry river bed.
“While I was walking to find some trees to put the camera on, I already saw some footprints,” says Bauer. “That was the eureka moment when I was sure that there really are lions.”
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