&Beyond in the race to prevent lion extinction


&Beyond has donated five lionesses from Phinda Private Game Reserve to be relocated to Rwanda as part of an African Parks project aimed at reversing the local extinction of the species in Akagera National Park.

Lions became extinct in Akagera 15 years ago, as Rwanda experienced a period of intense upheaval following the 1994 genocide, resulting in the lack of management of its national parks and the subsequent poisoning of lions by cattle herders.

&Beyond Phinda has a long history of lion conservation in South Africa. It was one of the first private game reserves in South Africa and the first in the province of KwaZulu-Natal to introduce lions, thereby extending their historical range.

Since the first 13 lions were introduced in 1992 and 1993, almost 220 lions have been born on the reserve. &Beyond Phinda has helped establish other lion populations in private game reserves in the Eastern Cape, Zululand, Mpumalanga, North West and the Limpopo Province, as well as neighbouring Mozambique.

The reserve is also a founding member of the Lion Management Forum of South Africa (LiMF), which aims to promote best practice in lion management and conservation in Southern Africa, generating industry norms and standards for lion conservation.

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