Unlike most cats, Lions are very social. They live in prides that have one or more male and several females that are all related and that hunt and raise cubs together.

Lions have disappeared from many areas over the last century and the Barbary Lion (P. l. leo) from North Africa and Cape Lion from South Africa (P. l. melanochaita) are now extinct. The Asiatic Lion (P. l. persica) used to occur widely across southwest Asia but it was reduced to only 13 individuals by 1907. Today, about 400 remain in Gujarat State in India, mostly in the Gir Forest protected area. The number of Lions in sub-Saharan Africa have also declined over the last 20 years, mainly due to a lack of prey and conflict with humans.

Since 2008, lion bones have been used in traditional Chinese medicine so this poses a new threat to these magnificent cats.


  • Title: Lions
  • Publisher: Australian Museum
  • Rights: Creative Commons

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