Sunday, July 31, 2016

Shanto the lion takes pride of place at Fota Wildlife Park

Shanto the Lion.
Shanto joins Fota Wildlife Park as part of an endangered species breeding programme. ©Darragh Kane

A new male asiatic lion has arrived at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork recently, and joins two female lions as part of the new lion habitat in the wildlife park’s Asian sanctuary.

Shanto, who arrived to the Cobh-based Wildlife Park in Co Cork from Spain joins Gita and Gira, the two female lions who arrived in Fota earlier this year, and can be found in the new Lion Habitat in the wildlife park’s Asian Sanctuary.
The lions are the latest addition to a number of critically endangered species now occupying the Asian Sanctuary, including the Sumatran tiger, the Indian rhino, the leaf monkey Francois langur and Visayan warty pigs.
The Asiatic Lions at Fota Wildlife Park are to be part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme and it is hoped that the lions will breed in the future.
Sean McKeown, director of Fota Wildlife Park said: “The wildlife park hopes to contribute to the captive breeding programme for the Asiatic Lion, one of the world’s most endangered big cats. The population of almost 200 Asian lions within zoo’s and parks form an essential safeguard and genetic resource.”
Though both the African and Asian Lion are similar in appearance, they differ in many ways.
Compared to their African cousins, Asian lions in general, are slightly smaller than African lions, have shorter, shaggier coats, with a longer tassel on the end of the tail and longer tufts of hair on the elbows.
© UTV Ireland

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