The Barbary lion, Atlas lion or Nubian lion (Panthera leo leo) is a subspecies of lion that has become extinct in the wild. There are around 40 in captivity in Europe, with fewer than a hundred in zoos around the world. The last known Barbary lion in the wild was shot in the Atlas Mountains in 1922.
The Barbary lion was believed to be extinct in captivity as well. However, possible Barbary lion individuals or descendants have been located in zoos and circus populations within the last three decades. The Barbary lion is often considered to be the heaviest of the lion subspecies; the calculated weight for the males is 440-600 lb and females 260-400 lb. Some experts, however, have expressed the belief that such weights are greatly exaggerated, and that the Barbary lion was similar in size to the lions in East Africa.
Aramis certainly looks the part of the Barbary or Atlas lion in particular, since the males were noted for their heavier and longer mane, extending along the belly through to the back legs. Although Aramis may be small in size we believe that he carries enough of the Barbary traits to be labeled as such.
Aramis came from a private owner in Poetry TX along with 19 other cats. The first time we saw him he had no water and his enclosure had not been cleaned in months. All of Aramis’ teeth have been broken off due to him chewing and biting at the fence. We are not sure how often Aramis and the others were fed, but we are sure that when they were fed, the meat was thrown to them still in the plastic bags.
Because there were so many cats in urgent need at the same time it was impossible for us to bring all of them back to In-Sync. On June 29 we began our mission to care for the cats in Poetry until we could find suitable homes for all of them. First we had to figure out how we could get fresh water to them. Second we had to find a way to clean up to 10 inches of feces from the tiny enclosures.
We are so blessed at being able to save Aramis, and reunite him with his litter mate Aurora. We are looking forward to many songs of happiness between them and their two older sisters. We also plan to introduce all of them to each other so they may live the rest of their lives together as a pride!