May 23, 2013

A Hitherto-Unseen Photo of Ranger, Scotland’s (Nearly) Black Lion

With almost 900,000 hits since I uploaded it on 12 June 2012, by far the most popular of all of my 300+ ShukerNature posts is my exposure of three online black lion photographs as computer-modified fakes (click here). In that same post, I also included some information concerning various alleged sightings in the wild of genuine black lions, plus a very interesting lion cub called Ranger, born at Glasgow (formerly Calderpark) Zoo in Scotland during 1975.
Ranger partially black lion, close-up, Peter Adamson
“What made Ranger so interesting is that he possessed a black chest and a large patch of black pigment on one leg, possibly the result of a rare pigmentation phenomenon known as mozaicism. I learnt from the zoo’s then director, the late Richard O’Grady, that in an attempt to create an entirely black lion, Ranger was mated with his mother, Kara, on several occasions when he reached adulthood, and also with other lionesses, but no offspring ever resulted. Consequently, it was suspected that Ranger was sterile, though he was in excellent overall health and lived to the ripe old age of 22. Until very recently, the only photograph of Ranger that I’d seen was a b/w image of him as a small cub, but just over a month ago I was contacted by Peter Adamson from St Andrews, Scotland,, who showed me a hitherto-unpublicised colour photo that he’d snapped of Ranger as an adult, which revealed some fascinating additional details concerning his unique colouration.”
Further information can be found here on my ShukerNature blog.

Karl Shuker About Karl Shuker
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 25 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.

Filed under Alien Big Cats, Cryptozoology, Mystery Cats, ShukerNature, Zoological Parks