King of the jungle: lions discovered in rainforests
Calling the African lion (Panthera leo) the 'king of the jungle' is usually a misnomer, as the species is usually found in savannah or dry forests, but recent photos by the Germany-based Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) document lions in Ethiopian rainforests. Taken in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve, the photos show a female lion hiding out in thick montane jungle.
"We are delighted with this news and look forward to studying these exceptional animals in their unusual habitat," said NABU’s Vice-President Thomas Tennhardt in a press release. "To manage potential conflict with local communities, NABU will set up a dedicated conservation fund." NABU has been working in the region since 2006.
Long known to locals, the lions are actually thought not to be permanent residents, but possibly passing through Kafa Biosphere Reserve in the dry season.
Kafa Biosphere Reserve covers 760,000 hectares of montane rainforest and preserves the last place on Earth where wild coffee (Coffea arabica) still grows naturally. The reserve is home to at least 106 woody plants, 100 birds, and 48 mammals.
Article continues at ENN affiliate, Mongabay
Image credit: Bruno D'Amicis/NABU