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Which zoos still have pure Barbary lions?

 
 
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  #1
Which zoos still have pure Barbary lions?
Old 17-05-2013

Which zoos still have pure barbary lions ?
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  #2
Old 17-05-2013

In short; none of them - the subspecies is extinct as a pure strain, and even the status of most lions identified as having Barbary blood is in doubt.
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  #3
Old 18-05-2013

The 'Barbary' lions which came from the Royal Rabat-collection should have had at least some Brbary-blood in it, but as TeaLovingDave says, already this strain wasn't complete pure. All other Barbary lions in other collections came from Rabat, so realy none pure Barbary's left
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  #4
Old 18-05-2013

doesn't kingdom of zion have barbary lions ?
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Old 18-05-2013

I'm pretty sure quite a few collections have lions identified as Barbary which have little-to-no Rabat blood, too - presumably using the name in the hope they sound like they have something special

The Kingdom of Zion lions are in the same boat as all the other ones, I am afraid - just because a place *says* they have a taxa does not mean they do, after all. Just look at all the places which label subspecific hybrid tigers as "Royal Bengal Tiger" in the hope people think they are special
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  #6
Old 18-05-2013

sorry whats that about the tigers ?
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Old 18-05-2013

There are no Bengal Tigers in captivity outside of their native range; despite this, a lot of zoos label their generic tigers as being Bengals due to the prestige and "name-recognition" with the public which the name possesses.

I raised the topic to note that the situation with zoos claiming to have Barbary lions is similar.
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  #8
Old 18-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by vogelcommando View Post
The 'Barbary' lions which came from the Royal Rabat-collection should have had at least some Brbary-blood in it, but as TeaLovingDave says, already this strain wasn't complete pure.
DNA testing indicates even those Lions do not have the required genetic markers(haplotype numbers) indicating any Barbary ancestry, rather they seem to have stemmed from Lion populations South of the Sahara, but other sources still argue against that.
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Old 18-05-2013

The following link provides a free PDF to one of the studies which argue there are maternal Barbary genetic markers in at least some of the Rabat stock.

Burger & Hemmer (2005)

Unfortunately, the main study which proved through DNA testing of 5 known founders that they held no Barbary genetic material on the mitochondrial line is behind a paywall, but the abstract is visible, and posted below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnett, Yamaguchi, Barnes & Cooper (2006)
Two of the eight recognized lion subspecies, North African Barbary lion (Panthera leo leo) and South African Cape lion (Panthera leo melanochaita), have become extinct in the wild in the last 150 years. Based on sequences of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (HVR1) extracted from museum specimens of four Barbary and one Cape lion, the former was probably a distinct population characterized by an invariable, unique mtDNA haplotype, whilst the latter was likely a part of the extant southern African lion population. Extinction of the Barbary line, which may still be found in “generic” zoo lions, would further erode lion genetic diversity. Therefore, appropriate management of such animals is important for maintaining the overall genetic diversity of the species. The mtDNA haplotype unique to the Barbary lion, in combination with the small size of the HVR1 analyzed (c. 130 bp), makes it possible and cost-effective to identify unlabelled Barbary specimens kept in museums and “generic” captive lions that may carry the Barbary line. An initial study of five samples from the lion collection of the King of Morocco, tested using this method, shows that they are not maternally Barbary.
The one thing all studies agree on is that there are no pure Barbary lions left.
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  #10
Old 19-05-2013

Going back to the tigers, when I was at Wildlife Heritage Foundation in England recently, we photographed one female whom the guide says is one of only three pure blooded indian tigers in Europe. He says the other two are in Germany, though he did not specify which zoo. (Sadly, that is the one cat we saw that I did not get good photos of, so I have nothing to post).
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Old 19-05-2013

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Originally Posted by Arizona Docent View Post
Going back to the tigers, when I was at Wildlife Heritage Foundation in England recently, we photographed one female whom the guide says is one of only three pure blooded indian tigers in Europe. He says the other two are in Germany, though he did not specify which zoo. (Sadly, that is the one cat we saw that I did not get good photos of, so I have nothing to post).
Indeed, I am aware of this claim, although I haven't seen the genetic evidence for myself. Unfortunately, even if the claim regarding this cat is correct, the tiger you saw is the last one - the last of the two "pure" siblings at Wingst very recently passed away within the last month or so, and two females at Russelheim also alleged to be pure were sent to South Africa last September.

The last uncontested pure Bengal tiger in Europe was a white male who died at Bristol Zoo in 1984, I believe. All later individuals are controversial.
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  #12
Old 19-05-2013

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Originally Posted by Arizona Docent View Post
Going back to the tigers, when I was at Wildlife Heritage Foundation in England recently, we photographed one female whom the guide says is one of only three pure blooded indian tigers in Europe. He says the other two are in Germany, though he did not specify which zoo.
If they are/were pure, I think they would have to be(or from) recently imported Tigers from India. They can't be 'last descendants' of previous stock as there haven't been any purebred Indian Tigers in Europe since the mid-1980's.
It would be interesting to know what their sources were claimed to be (even if now deceased).
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  #13
Old 19-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaLovingDave View Post

Unfortunately, the main study which proved through DNA testing of 5 known founders that they held no Barbary genetic material on the mitochondrial line is behind a paywall, but the abstract is visible, and posted below.

The one thing all studies agree on is that there are no pure Barbary lions left.

I've read this study throughout by tapping in somehow on some other link(probably via Zoochat) but there is only about one crucial paragraph in the whole report, and that is paraphrased at the end of the above abstract too.

I think when the Rabat Lions were proven not to be pure Barbary, the 'project' lost a lot (all?) of its credibility and is pretty much defunct now, apart from a few zoos who persist with them- the myth being more interesting than the reality.
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  #14
Old 19-05-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arizona Docent View Post
-He says the other two are in Germany, though he did not specify which zoo. (Sadly, that is the one cat we saw that I did not get good photos of, so I have nothing to post).
The second claim (those in Germany) were in Wingst Zoo and Rüsselsheim , however as far as I know one of them past away in 2012 (Rüsselsheim) and the second past away this this year (Wingst). So there is only one animal which is claimed to be a Bengal tiger remaining, in the place you stated, Ashford.

I might be wrong though xD
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  #15
Old 19-05-2013

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Originally Posted by Pertinax View Post
If they are/were pure, I think they would have to be(or from) recently imported Tigers from India. They can't be 'last descendants' of previous stock as there haven't been any purebred Indian Tigers in Europe since the mid-1980's.
It would be interesting to know what their sources were claimed to be (even if now deceased).

The Wingst individuals *were* claimed to be "last descendants", whilst the Russelheim individuals were - or are, the fact they left for South Africa means it is unclear as to whether they are still alive now - seized animals from a circus.

According to ZTL, the individual which Arizona Docent saw at WHF was "bred-back" from individuals held to be near-to-pure Bengals at Sandown Zoo in 1992.
 


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