In South Africa, to save the lions whose population has been halved in 20 years, they sometimes have to be rendered sterile. Inbreeding can indeed be fatal to the pack.

The lion is seeing its population increase in South Africa, particularly in small reserves. They choose to sterilize the species in the face of the risk of inbreeding. “Of the six females in our reserve, five have the same father. So if she ever bred with him, it would be direct inbreeding, it would be very bad,” says Kevin Leo-Smith, director of the Rietspruit reserve. (South Africa). Most reserves in South Africa are small. In this one, the reproduction of the three males and six females must be constantly monitored.

Lion population halved in 20 years

In the wild and in the great outdoors, the lion population is self-regulating, as packs kill each other and other predators, such as hyenas, attack them. But on the reserves, there is no threat. The parks also work together, and regularly transfer the males from one park to another so that they are not related to the females. This birth control is an exception, because worldwide, the lion population has almost halved in 20 years.