For many years, Fauna and Flora International (FFI) have been on a look out for the presence of the king of beasts in the vast Southern National Park of South Sudan. FFI, an LRF grantee, has had a constant presence in this park throughout the past decade, helping kickstart conservation efforts. With a successful track record of operating in crisis and conflict zones, FFI saw the potential and opportunity in embedding conservation within the formative years of this new nation state.
Finding proof of lions in this area has been equivalent to searching for a needle in a haystack. Locals shared firsthand accounts of hearing lions roaring in the night, but actual sightings or proof of the big cats had remained elusive. Through perseverance and determination, FFI is delighted to report that the first evidence of lion presence in the park has been found.
This evidence includes two photos—the first of a lion paw print, and more significantly, a second photo from a camera trap of a lion carrying a warthog in its jaws. This is a huge milestone for FFI and proves just how vital lion recovery efforts are in this park. FFI has also documented the presence of other Critically Endangered wildlife, and now that they have definitive proof of lions living here, their campaign to restore effective protection measures for Southern National Park can continue with a heightened level of importance.
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