Lady Liuwa, the lonely lioness who spent more than a decade as the last of her kind in Zimbabwe’s Liuwa Plain National Park, has died of natural causes on the eve of World Lion Day. A survivor of poaching and illegal trophy hunting, Lady Liuwa wandered the park by herself from the late 1990s until 2010, when the first of several companions were successfully transported to Liuwa. Alas, the story since then remained full of near-constant tragedies, but also some hope. Lady Liuwa never bred, but her impact continues with efforts to restore the once-ravaged park. African Parks has the history and a tribute to this resilient big cat.

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John R. Platt

is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His “Extinction Countdown” column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Ore., where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.