Keepers say farewell to rare lioness
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