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LAST LEGEND LIONESS OF LIUWA PLAINS
Remembering Lady Liuwa, the Last Lioness
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How do you say farewell to a legend?
It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to the iconic lioness, Lady Liuwa.
Sadly, we just confirmed yesterday that at 17 years old, “Lady” as she was affectionately known, has passed on due to natural causes. It’s not often we commemorate individual animals, but Lady Liuwa was a legendary lioness whose story of survival, and our efforts to give her a pride of her own in Liuwa Plain in Zambia, captivated the world over.
Lady was a symbol of hope and resilience, for lions, and all wildlife.
Due to years of illegal hunting, lions were completely eradicated from Liuwa Plain in the 1990’s, except for her. She roamed the plains alone for years as the sole survivor in the park and became known as the ‘Last Lioness’.
With no lions to be found, she looked to humans for companionship.
However, after years of wandering the plains as the sole lioness, and after several reintroductions undertaken by African Parks starting in 2007, we were finally able to unite her with her own kind. While she was unable to have cubs of her own, she bonded with a reintroduced lioness named Sepo who had several litters whom she helped raise.
She finally had a pride of her own.
Her ability to live to such an extraordinary age for a wild lion is a testament to the collaborative protection she was afforded by African Parks, the Zambia Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) and the Zambia Carnivore Programme.
We find it fitting that she passed around World Lion Day, and take solace in knowing that she did not die alone. Her legacy lives on in the small but growing lion pride that calls Liuwa home.
To commemorate her extraordinary life, and to help us continue to grow Liuwa’s lions, please consider donating:
100% of your donation goes directly to the parks, where it matters most.
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