We are so happy to be commissioned by the Belfast zoo to design their new Barbary lion enclosure. The goal is to design a new, state of the art, sustainable enclosure with respect of animal welfare, zoo keepers safety and comfort and – last but not least – add visitors experience.
Barbary lions were once native to North Africa, including the Atlas Mountains but are now extinct in the wild.
The last recorded Barbary lion was shot in Morocco in 1942. The only Barbary lions left in the world are now found in zoos and are part of a global and collaborative breeding programme to ensure their future survival.
Barbary lions are recorded throughout history. The Romans used Barbary lions in the Colosseum to battle with gladiators. Thousands of these cats were slaughtered during the reign of Caesar. These lions were also kept in the menagerie at the Tower of London and were offered as gifts to royal families of Morocco and Ethiopia. It is believed that Barbary lions today are directly descended from these ‘royal lions’.
Belfast Zoo is home to a pride of Barbary lions.