A handout photo provided by the Osservatore Romano shows Pope Benedict XVI petting a stuffed lion in the presidential palace in Yaounde, Cameroon, on March 18, the second day of a six-day visit to Africa — his first as pontiff.
The mounted lion looks intriguingly like one of the Man-Eaters of Tsavo (below). The Cameroon’s lion mane seems a bit thin.
Hard as it may be to believe, but lions are almost extinct in Cameroon, with only about 200 in one reserve there.
This poster shows the wide variation in manes in Kenya. The equatorial region of East Africa (Kenya) has long maintained a native lion population exhibiting the greatest range of mane variation known on the planet. While plenty of poorly, modestly and fully maned lions still occur in the eastern, southern and northern regions of that country, lions with truly exceptional manes from the mountain plateaus have fallen victim in recent years to persistent eradication efforts by animal control units. Credit: Color plate by Velizar Simeonovski
The Pope seems to have some affection for lions. Here he is on Sunday, January 25, 2009.
Pope Benedict XVI was greeted by an unusual guest during his weekly audience at the Vatican – a feisty lion cub. The beast was brought to the pontiff as part of a performance by members of the Medrano Circus.
Well, I guess Rome and lions do go together.
Ah, some of the wealth of Rome would be great in cryptozoology!
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.