Keep­ers say farewell to rare li­on­ess

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Family Announcements - by Thom Mor­ris tmor­ris@thek­m­group.co.uk

LION keep­ers at Port Lympne wild an­i­mal park are mourn­ing one of the most “ill-tem­pered big cats” at the park, who has died aged 21.

Jade, an At­las lion, was born on Septem­ber 10, 1988, to Amaziga and Jebel.

She leaves be­hind seven cubs, fa­thered by Kabir, and has seven grand­chil­dren.

Her off­spring in­clude daugh­ter Saf­fiya, who, along with her breed­ing part­ner Suli­man, is re­spon­si­ble for breed­ing 10 per cent of all At­las lions in ex­is­tence.

At­las lions have been ex­tinct in the wild since the last mem­ber of this north African sub­species was shot in the 1920s.

Head of the Port Lympne big cat sec­tion Richard Barnes said: “Prob­a­bly one of the most ill-tem­pered of all our big cats, Jade was one of the sec­tion’s true char­ac­ters. There will never be a li­on­ess like her again.

“Even to­wards the end she was still hav­ing one last roar at us.”

Jade was put down af­ter suf­fer­ing kid­ney fail­ure which re­sulted in dra­matic weight loss and her back legs be­ing un­able to sup­port her.

Jade, an At­las lion, mother and grand­mother, has been put down, aged 21

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