The big cat was described as “a beautiful lioness, in her prime and clearly in great health” by the conservationists who released the photo.

A stunning image of a healthy female lion from Sena Oura National Park in Chad, where the big cats haven’t been seen in nearly two decades, was released by a team of conservationists from the Government of Chad and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The Wildlife Conservation Society shared the photo on Thursday in partnership with the government of Chad. According to the news release, lion sightings in the park haven’t occurred in nearly 20 years.

The big cat was described as “a beautiful lioness, in her prime and clearly in great health” by the conservationists who released the photo. In Sena Oura, close to Chad’s border with Cameroon, lions are regarded by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as extinct.

The Wildlife Conservation Society stated in a news release that the border region between Chad and Cameroon “saw a period of ruthless, organised poaching more than a decade ago, but has since benefited from a very strong commitment to conservation by the governments of both Cameroon and Chad.” The wildlife populations are now beginning to recover, and the national parks are now better protected, according to the statement.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has designated lions as “Vulnerable,” with only 23,000 to 39,000 of the big cats remaining in the wild.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, their populations are especially “small and fragmented” in west and central Africa. Loss of habitat, human-caused killing, and the absence of their prey are all factors in the population’s decline.

In the African nation of Chad, a protected area with national park status is known as Sena Oura National Park. It was established in 2010 in the 735.2 km2 Mayo-Dallah Department of the western Mayo-Kebbi region, close to the Cameroonian border.

This department was created after Law 16 came into effect. Form a biosphere corridor with the Cameroonian Bouba Ndjida National Park. The IUCN has categorised it as Category II. The government and representatives of the local tribes were in charge of running the park.