Darwin didn’t count on sperm banks

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The lion is king of the jungle, most noble of wild beasts, right? Well, it turns out there’s been a lot of incest in the royal family lately. Researchers from Tanzania to South Africa have found that rampant inbreeding among lion prides has hurt their ability to reproduce and fight disease.

African lions are far from extinct; but, given their poor choice of mates, South Africa’s Wildlife Breeding Centre wants to give natural selection a little push by introducing artificial insemination to lions, reports the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD.

The center has filled a sperm bank with samples from both wild and captive lions that were killed in fights or shot by poachers. Scientists will perform vasectomies on certain males in the Lion Safari Park near Johannesburg, then inseminate the females with sperm from the bank, in hopes of creating a new genetic strain of kings.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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