A large, dark mane, extending from the head all the way down the neck and chest to the belly, is the distinguishing feature of the lions of Ethiopia. (Image: University of York) MEDIA CONTACTS • University of York +44 190 432 0000 RELATED ARTICLES • Sierra Leone teen wows world • Moz leads in marine conservation • Six decades to survey East Africa’s flora • Acting on Uganda’s anti-Aids progress Ray MaotaA large, dark mane, extending from the head all the way down the neck and chest to the belly, is the distinguishing feature of the lions of Ethiopia – and now it has been found that they are genetically different from other lions too.DNA evidence has found that the Addis Ababa lions are genetically unique when compared with all the lion populations of Africa and Asia. With their findings in mind, researchers from the University of York in the UK and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany have urged that this species of lion be put on the endangered list.Researchers from Leipzig Zoo in Germany and the universities of Durham and Oxford in the UK were also involved in the study. There are a number of subspecies of lion (Panthera leo), including the East African, Cape, Barbary and Asiatic, while white lions are rare. Lions are the only cats that live in permanent groups. Dwindling numbersTrophy hunting has led to a decline in the lion population worldwide. In Ethiopia, apart from a few in the wild, there are just 20 of the unique animals in Addis Ababa Zoo. They once belonged to the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, who established the zoo in 1948. The species is prized by hunters for its manes.Principal investigator Professor Michi Hofreiter, of the department of biology at the University of York, said: “To our knowledge, the males at Addis Ababa Zoo are the last existing lions to possess this distinctive mane. Both microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data suggest the zoo lions are genetically distinct from all existing lion populations for which comparative data exist.“We therefore believe the Addis Ababa lions should be treated as a distinct conservation management unit and are urging immediate conservation actions, including a captive breeding programme, to preserve this unique lion population.” Preserving their legacyThe research team took DNA samples from 15 of the lions in Addis Ababa Zoo, eight of which were males and seven females, and compared them to lion breeds in the wild.The findings could go a long way to preventing another lion species from becoming extinct; already North African Barbary lions and South African Cape lions are extinct in the wild. Setting up a captive breeding programme to preserve the lions has been suggested by the researchers.Their study was recently published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research.Lead author Susann Bruche, now with Imperial College London but who conducted the research with the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, said: “A great amount of genetic diversity in lions has most likely already been lost, largely due to human influences. Every effort should be made to preserve as much of the lion’s genetic heritage as possible.“We hope field surveys will identify wild relatives of the unique Addis Ababa Zoo lions in the future, but conserving the captive population is a crucial first step. Our results show that these zoo lions harbour sufficient genetic diversity to warrant a captive breeding programme.” Sightings of similar animalsBruche added that Ethiopian authorities had said that lions with a similar appearance to those at Addis Ababa Zoo still existed in the east and northeast of the country, notably in the Babille Elephant Sanctuary near Harar and southwards to Hararghe. These regions, she said, should be prioritised for field surveys.Hofreiter said: “A key question is which wild population did the zoo lions originate from and whether this wild population still exists; this would obviously make it a priority for conservation.“What is clear is that these lions did not originate in the zoo, but come from somewhere in the wild – but not from any of the populations for which comparative data is available.”
Incessant rains due and the subsequent deluge claimed five lives in Kolkata and adjoining districts on Tuesday. While two persons died when parts of an old dilapidated two storied building collapsed in the Taltala area in central Kolkata three others died in the districts of south Bengal.According to Kolkata Police at around 12.25 pm the old building collapsed. Three fire engines along with personnel of disaster management group were pressed into rescue operation, which went for several hours.“At around 4.25 pm the bodies of two persons-Himadri Pahar (38) and Hansa Shaw (20) were extricated from the debris and sent to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for legal procedure,” a statement by Kolkata police said.Meanwhile, the situation remained grim in Birbhum, Purulia, Bankura, and Hooghly district of south Bengal. While two persons died in Purulia when a wall collapsed on them, one person died in Birbhum when he was washed away during the day.In Purulia two persons-Sikandar Mirza (30) and Siaz Khan (12)- died and five got injured in the Nanduara village in the district’s Raghunathpur sub-division when an earthen boundary wall of a house collapsed on them, District Magistrate of Purulia Alokesh Prasad Roy told The Hindu.He also said that so far waterlogging has not turned out to be severe in the district with only some areas of Jhalda I and Barabazr block witnessing some waterlogging.In Birbhum one person has died due to drowning in the afternoon in the Hatiea village of Labhpur block. While locals said that the situation in Labhpur has become “grim” with about 17 villages facing heavy waterlogging, the District Magistrate P.Mohangandhi claimed otherwise. “Labhpur being a low lying area, there is waterlogging in some areas. But so far it is not a cause of concern,” said Mr.Gandhi.As for Hooghly a senior district police official said that was a breach in an embankment on the Rupnarayan river at the Dhannobadi village under the Khanakul Assembly seat. “As a result nearly 16 villages in the area are facing severe waterlogging. The district administration is keeping an eye on the situation,” he said. One person Shyamal Sengupta (38) got washed away on Monday. However, Superintendent of Police Sukesh Jain said that “Mr.Sengupta’s body has not been found yet.” Areas such as Khanakul, Goghal, Arambagh in the district are facing severe waterlogging.In Bankura 1,000 people had to be to be shifted to relief camps due to severe waterlogging. “ There is severe waterlogging in Bankura II, Joypur, Kotalpur, Patrasayer, Mejhia and Onda blocks. We have set up six relief camps,” District Magistrate of Bankura Moumita Godara said.Meanwhile State’s Irrigation Minister Rajib Banerjee accused the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) for releasing waters from dams “without consulting” the State government. “The situation has become a cause of concern for us. Despite our repeated letters the DV is releasing water without consulting us,” he said. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, Bengal is likely to receive heavy rain at isolated places on Wednesday.
Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Phoenix took an 83-77 lead with 2:47 left in the fourth quarter after Wright’s jumper over Galanza.READ: Matthew Wright on Phoenix’s 4-0 start: Nothing to brag just yetAlthough the Fuel Masters allowed the Road Warriors to score five unanswered, Abueva’s grit was able to save them.“Coach always tells us to focus especially in the end game because that’s what really matters,” said Abueva who finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and two blocks.“We can keep a steady pace in the first three quarters but the fourth really is the most crucial and that’s the time where we really want to show our mentality.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes The defensive play started when Justin Chua deliberately stepped on the sideline to get a delay of game warning that allowed the Fuel Masters to read the Road Warriors’ offense, giving the chance for Abueva to pounce. PBA: Phoenix stays hot, escapes NLEX for 5-0 start LATEST STORIES PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Calvin Abueva after his block on Galanza to preserve Phoenix’ 83-82 win over NLEX and also to keep their unbeaten start that has now stretched to 5 wins. | @BLozadaINQ #PBA2019 pic.twitter.com/E6fr4qbBsb— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) February 8, 2019MANILA, Philippines—It may have looked like a spur of the moment defensive play but Calvin Abueva’s game-winning block on Bong Galanza was the culmination of a well-thought, calculated moved.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesAbueva’s block not only gave Phoenix the 83-82 win, but it also preserved the team’s unbeaten start in the PBA Philippine Cup that has now stretched to five wins.ADVERTISEMENT Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ View comments ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Calvin Abueva’s crucial block saves Phoenix. PBA IMAGES“I helped because my teammate was already beaten and we all knew the offense would go through Larry [Fonacier] so when Galanza got free I just forced myself for the help defense instead off allowing him to take the shot,” said Abueva in Filipino Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.Fonacier was pinned down in the screens and Galanza was able to free himself for the three, but Abueva was there to help out on Alex Mallari who was also trapped in the picks.READ: PBA: Phoenix stays hot, escapes NLEX for 5-0 startBut it wasn’t just Abueva who displayed the tenacity down the stretch since it was the credo that Phoenix head coach Louie Alas instilled in them.The Fuel Masters trailed by as much as 11, 56-45, early in the third quarter but slowly clawed their way back and tied the game at 77 after Matthew Wright’s triple with 4:15 remaining in the game.ADVERTISEMENT