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Lions have been spotted in Chad National Park for the first time in almost 20 years

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An image of a female lion was released Thursday in Sena Aura National Park in the central African country of Chad, “the first such image of a lion in the park in nearly two decades,” officials said.

A “beautiful lioness, on her head and clearly in good health,” was photographed Feb. 22 by a “remote camera,” according to a news release from the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society.

A lion has not been seen in the national park in nearly 20 years, officials said, adding that the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers lions “technically extinct” in the Sena Ora area.

Lions have been spotted in Chad National Park for the first time in almost 20 years

A photo from a remote camera taken on February 22, 2023 of lions in Sena Ora National Park in Chad.

Wildlife Conservation Society/Government of Chad

Overall, the IUCN classifies lions as “vulnerable” on its Red List of Threatened Species.

WCS said the governments of Cameroon and Chad have shown a commitment to conservation that has helped protect national parks, and has allowed wildlife populations to begin recovering after a period of organized hunting more than a decade ago.

last month, Endangered West African lion cub caught on video in Senegal. The sighting of the three cubs has raised hopes that the venerable West African lion population could be revived.

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