Aggression fulfils an important biological function, but it is precisely in the higher species that new, intense manifestations of aggression appear – due to living together in groups. It is no coincidence that homo sapiens, its close relatives and certain species of apes are described by ethnologists as demonic species.
Filo Mihali, Death in Prison under Hungarian Law. In: Death in Prison. Hunger strike, suicide, capital punishment and „normal“ death from a legal, historical and ethnic perspective. Edited by Brigitte Tag, Dominik Groß. Campus, Frankfurt/NYC, 2012.
A constantly erasing archive is being created here, in memory of the animals that will never come back into the world
who’s to blame?
walk of shame
atlas lion * felis leo barbaricus
extinct ~ 1942
killing for entertainment
It was not only the ancient Egyptians who favoured lions; the Romans also caught thousands of these animals – usually in North Africa – for their animal hunts. David Day wrote in the Doomsday Book of Animals in 1981: „Both Julius Caesar and Pompey were known to have hundreds of these big cats at any one time.“ In Roman arenas, fights between exotic animals were one of the great attractions of the entertainment culture alongside gladiator fights. For example, the Barbary lion and the Caspian tiger (Panthera tigris virgata), which is also extinct, competed against each other in fights. Animal fights, in which large numbers of animals died and which have been proven to have contributed to the extinction of some species, took place until the 6th century.
Destruction of the habitat
In historical times, the Barbary lion was found throughout North Africa, but it was not until the beginning of the 18th century that it disappeared from the north-east of the continent and was only found in the north-west. The populations in the west of North Africa also became smaller and smaller. David Day explains the reasons for this: „As with the Atlas bear, the Barbary lion’s territory once encompassed the whole of forested North Africa, but the destruction of this habitat by man and the spread of the desert, combined with persistent hunting, led to a 2,000-year decline; culminating in confrontation with European guns and extinction.“ The Doomsday Book of Animals, 1981, D. Day
Most sources, such as Igor Akimuschkin in „Vom Aussterben bedroht?“ (1972), state that the last Barbary lion was killed in Algeria in 1893 or shot by a poacher in 1920 (or 1922) in the Moroccan part of the Atlas Mountains. There are indications that the North African lion could still be found in the Moroccan part of the Atlas Mountains in 1942 and some individuals are said to have lived in Morocco and western Algeria until the 1940s. Barbary lions are also said to have lived in eastern Algeria in more recent times. However, they disappeared during the military conflict in Algeria between 1958 and 1962, when the last mountain forests near the coast, which had served as military hideouts, were systematically destroyed by arson attacks.