January 22, 2020 / 5:13 PM / in a month

Conservationists try to save underfed lions in Sudanese wildlife park

A malnourished lion stands inside its cage at the Al-Qureshi Park in Khartoum, Sudan January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Conservationists in Sudan are trying to save four lions they say have been underfed and neglected in a wildlife park in the capital Khartoum, after one lion died earlier this week.

The emaciated lions belong to an important subspecies that exists only in limited areas including southeast Sudan and neighbouring Ethiopia, said Khalda Seliman Mahgoub of the Sudan Wildlife Research Centre.

“Since this is a particular subspecies that we should preserve, I shouldn’t see them in a cage. They should be in their natural habitat,” said Mahgoub.

It was unclear exactly where the lions had come from but the cages in Al-Qureshi park where they were being kept had been constricting their movement, she said.

The lions are now being treated after a plea from the Sudan Wildlife Research Centre and an online campaign pointing out their plight.

Al-Qureshi park receives few tourists and little revenue. Sudan has suffered decades of internal conflict and international isolation, and was rocked by months of protests and a political uprising last year.

(This story corrects location of park where lions are being kept.)

Reporting by Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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