We humans are more adept at driving various species to extinction than in bringing them back from the brink.
So, imagine our surprise when we heard that the Barbary Lion, already extinct in wild (and probably even in captivity), might once again majestically roam the North African plains.
But Dr Ross Barnett of Copenhagen University is the one who believes that this could indeed become a reality one day.
DNA tests by his international team of scientists have confirmed unequivocally that the Asiatic Lions in the Kathiawar Peninsula of India have a close genetic links with their extinct African counterparts.
Dr Ross believes that if conservationists fail to find a purebred Barbary Lion in zoos, then the lions from India can be used to reintroduce these big cats in the areas that were once dominated by the Barbary.
An expert on the subject, Dr Ross was the lead author of the study that sequenced the DNA from the skulls of two Barbary lions once held in Britain’s Tower of London.
Extensive DNA tests by his team found that four of the six Barbary lions’ samples showed a genetic sequence identical to the existing lions in India.
The amazing aspect of the find is the fact that despite the large geographic distance that separates the two, both Barbary and Indian lions share plenty of similarity.
The discovery gives hope to many that they might one day see these majestic cats once again prowl the African Savanna. If definitely would be a refreshing change of pace to see humans restore a sub species that they once wiped out completely.