Contact: Greg Borzo
Caption: The equatorial region of East Africa (Kenya) has long maintained a native lion population exhibiting the greatest range of mane variation known on the planet. While plenty of poorly, modestly and fully maned lions still occur in the eastern, southern and northern regions of that country, lions with truly exceptional manes from the mountain plateaus have fallen victim in recent years to persistent eradication efforts by animal control units. Safeguarding livestock interests near the boundaries of these limited highland protected areas has become a priority in those districts, despite the lions recent elevation to the status of a "threatened" species in that country.
Credit: Color plate by Velizar Simeonovski
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Related news release: Groundbreaking study by Field Museum scientists explains mane variation in lions