Having now returned from the subzero temperatures in the UK straight back into the sweltering heat of Thailand's hottest time of year, and having begun developing some of the images I came back with, this is the first picture I'm happy to share with you. The subject is an absolutely magnificent Barbary Lion (aka Atlas Lion aka Nubian Lion), that my good friend and fellow wildlife photographer Sue Demetriou introduced me to at Port Lympne Wildlife Park in Kent - many thanks again Sue for sharing your time and wonderful sense of humour with me :^)
Aside from Sue's excellent company, another high point of this trip was the opportunity to observe and photograph nine different species/subspecies of felines for the first time, and as beautiful and impressive as all those were, the one that completely took my breath away was this male Barbary Lion.
Though I had heard of the Barbary Lion of Northern Africa, I have to admit that I only read up on them after returning home, and the first thing I discovered saddened me greatly. I have had the privilege of working with quite a few vulnerable (VU), endangered (EN), and even critically endangered (CR) animal species, but the Barbary Lion is the first I've come across that is in fact completely extinct in the wild (EW); the last one shot and killed in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco in 1922. I'm sure if I had known this before, I would have made Sue stand around outside of his enclosure a great deal longer than we did.
More to follow. For now, thanks for taking an interest and wishing you all a great weekend ahead!