African Lion
Status Vulnerable
Diet Carnivore
To unlock the lion in challenge or campaign games, you must earn a 2-1/2-star zoo fame rating for your zoo.


  • The lion is one of the largest members of the cat family. The lion's size and strength have captured human imagination since ancient times, giving these animals the nickname king of beasts. Lions are also known for their mighty roar, a fearsome sound that can be heard by humans more than 8 km (5 mi) away.
  • Lions once ranged over vast areas on many continents. Fossil evidence shows that until about 10,000 years ago, lions lived throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and into Asia as far as southern India and the island of Sri Lanka. They also lived in North America and northern South America. Since then, however, the lion's range has been shrinking steadily. Human hunters have killed countless numbers of lions as well as the hoofed mammals that lions eat. In many places, people have taken over the lion's habitats, which often are good places to farm and raise cattle. These habitats include grassy plains, savannahs, and dry woodlands but never thick forests or jungle. Today, lions are found in the wild in only two places on earth. About 100,000 lions survive in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Another 300 lions, called Asian lions, live in a reserve called the Gir National Park and Lion Sanctuary in northwest India. In both places, lions continue to be threatened by human activities. Thousands of lions also live in zoos and circuses around the world.

Fun Facts

  • Lions are unusual among cats for their habit of living in groups. A pride consists of 2 to 12 adult females and their cubs. All of the females are related: sisters, mothers, aunts, and cousins.
  • A lion's roar can be heard from a distance of 5 miles (8 km).
  • Despite their immense strength, lions do not have an easy life in the wild. They suffer from parasites and disease, they get injured or even killed while hunting or fighting with each other, and they may starve when food is scarce.
  • Lions spend about 20 hours a day just lying around.

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