King of Animals ?

Mar 24

Lion in Progress headshot

Lion in Progress headshot

This time i’ve gone for one of the most famous predators out there.  When i spent my few months in France i chose to paint a glorious rooster : the rooster is the national animal of France. Would you guess that the Barbary Lion is the national animal of England ? No, i wouldn’t. But it is so. Grandeur.

Specifically, it is the Barbary / Atlas lion, which is now extinct in the wild. This especially long maned and shaggy dark lion was native to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and Algeria, at the very top of Africa. Prized by Roman Emperors, Sultans, and English Kings, this huge mountain and desert roaming lion slowly faded into extinction, with the last male dying in a concrete zoo.

There are interbred part-barbary lions in some zoos around the world – and so, some efforts have been made to save the Barbary by breeding it back using these genes. Will that work ? How ? Very interesting.

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