The African Lion

Scientific Name

Felis Leo

Male and Female Lions

Life Span

10-14 years old in the wild and up to 22 years old in captivity

Native Location/Habitat

Lions are currently found in Africa mostly, but historically they were also found in parts of Greece and India. In Africa, they are mostly found in grasslands and rest under Acacia trees that serve as shade to keep them cool. They mostly stick to living in forest areas. The trees give them shelter, keep them cool, and provide cover when they are hunting prey.

North Carolina Lions

The only lions on record that are located in North Carolina today reside at the NC Zoo, the Burlington Conservator Center, and Tiger World . In each of these locations, they house a series of animals including a large group of lions and lionesses. Each year, the facilities are inspected to ensure that the animals are in an appropriate environment and are being well cared for.


On average, a typical lion can weigh up to 550 lbs.

Physical Attributes

The lion is the tallest of all living cats today. It is the second largest cat next to the tiger. It has a broad skull and large jaw to fit large quantities of food. Coloration varies from light buff to yellowish to red and dark brown. The mane usually varies in dark browns to lighter brown colors.

Endangerment Conservation Status

Lions are currently not on the endangered species list, but they are hunted for their fur and fangs. Both their fur and fangs are sold on the black market all over the world. Many activists groups like PETA are trying to help end this form of animal cruelty.