West African male lion
The West African Lion is a Lion subspecies native to West Africa. West African Lions were found from Senegal to the Central African Republic and as far South as the Republic of Congo. Today, this population is fragmented and conservationists consider it seriously threatened.

Conservation status : Near Extinction

Worldwide population: An estimated 32,000 wild Lions remain in all of Africa.


  • Only male Lions have manes, the impressive fringe of long hair that surrounds their heads.
  • Lions in West and Central Africa are considered critically threatened. At most, only a few thousand of the West African Lion still roam the wild.
  • West African Lions are thought to live off smaller prey than those in East Africa.
  • Based on recent genetic testing, Lions in West and Central Africa appear to be more closely related to Asiatic Lions than they are to East and Southern African Lions. 
  • Lions are the most social of all wild cat species.

Diet: Antelope, Gazelle and other hoofed prey.

Favored exhibits: Savannah

Favored Enrichments: Scratching posts, tabletops and slides.


The male West African lion in the game has a long and slightly thick mane. However, the real life male West African lions has a very small and weak mane or maneless.

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