It is said there is one captive female lion in Pakistan which was once a wild lion in Afghanistan. If true, this is an incredible story as the lion would be the world’s rarest cat, wild or domestic. The story as told by Wadan Khan who lives in Quetta, Pakistan, is that there were two lions in Pakistan that were wild lion cubs from Afghanistan.
Wadan Khan is very concerned about the wildlife of Pakistan and Afghanistan and he says that in the Pakistan city where he lives there is (or was) a man had a pair of lions (one male and one female) that were given to him by Ahmed Shah Mahsod who lived in Afghanistan. These lions it is said were caught in the wild as cubs in Afghanistan.
The male died in 2011 but Wadad has seen them both and the female is living at the date of this post (June 2012).
The important point Wadad makes is that if the remaining female is genuinely a wild Afghanistan lion then it is an extremely rare wild cat with perhaps different DNA that makes it a different species of lion (Asiatic Lion?).
If anyone reads this who is interested in this story please leave a comment and contact details and we can proceed from there.
The last reliable sighting of the lion in the Middle East was in Iran in 1942. It is difficult to distinguish between the Asiatic and African lion on appearance. The Asiatic lion has a ‘pronounced belly flap’. Almost all Asiatic lions have this belly flap but it is not present on the African lion. Other differences in appearance are that the Asiatic lion has a longer tail tassel, a thicker coat and a less dense or extensive mane.