Panthera leo persicus

PANTHERA LEO PERSICUS

Asiatic Lion

Introducing Our Asian Lion

We have two Asian lions in our collection here at Edinburgh Zoo.

Our female lion, Kamlesh arrived at the Zoo in April 2003 from Chessington World of Adventures.

In June 2012, Kamlesh was joined by a new young male called Jayendra from Bristol Zoo. Jayendra  who was born in December 2010.

Breeding Programme Category:

Our lions are part of the European Endangered Species programme (EEP).

Location in the Zoo:

Our Asiatic lions can be seen in our lion enclosure near the top of the Zoo.

Find out more

Status

  • DD
    DATA DEFICIENT
  • lc
    LEAST CONCERN
  • nt
    NEAR THREATENED
  • VU
    VULNERABLE
  • EN
    ENDANGERED
  • CR
    CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
  • EW
    EXTINCT IN THE WILD
for more information on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Size

animal Relative to 6ft (2m) man

Population

175
to350
IUCN June 2008

  • Grasslands

  • Rainforests

Diet

image-placeholder Carnivore

In The Wild

Asian lion (Panthera leo persica) originally had large populations across southwest Asia. Today, there is only a very small remnant population located in India’s Gir Forest with only an estimated 350 left in the wild.

The Asian lion differs from the African lion in several ways. Asian lions are generally smaller than their African cousins, and the males do not develop such a substantial mane, so their ears are more visible. Both species of lions live in groups called prides; however, the Asian pride is smaller. An Asian lion pride usually has two lionesses and cubs, while the African pride has four to six adult females. Male Asian lions do not spend much time with their prides unless it is to feed or breed.

Asian lions live on a diet of deer, antelope, wild boar and water buffalo. All of the lionesses in the pride hunt together to overpower their prey. Males hardly ever hunt, but will assist the females if they are hunting a large, aggressive animal. Regardless of whether the male has helped or not, he always gets to eat first.

Since the Asian lion now exists as an isolated population, the species is vulnerable to a number of threats from unpredictable events such as forest fires or epidemics. Poaching, habitat destruction, conflict with humans and domestic cattle, and declining numbers of prey animals present further threats to this highly vulnerable species.

As a result of this strict guidelines prevent zoos from holding both African and Asian lions for fear of disease transmission or potential hybridisation.

Meet our Asiatic lions

Zooveniers!

We have all your favourite animals ready to cuddle up to in our online gift shop!

Keeper Experiences

Treat yourself or the animal lover in your life to an unforgetable experience!