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Asiatic lion

Panthera leo persica

Male Asiatic lion Yali at Paignton Zoo
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae

The Asiatic lion is native to the dense vegetation and grasslands in the Gir Forest of India.

They are opportunistic carnivores and will hunt antelope, deer, cattle and small mammals.

Interesting facts!

  • The Asiatic lion is smaller than their African cousin, but also live together in small family units called prides.
  • Lions can sleep for up to 20 hours each day.
  • Males can mate with females at any time of the year and after a gestation period of around 3.5 months, up to six cubs can be born.


This big cat is Endangered, facing threats of poaching and habitat degradation, with less than 600 individuals living in the wild today. The Gir Forest where they live is now a protected area, and there are conservation breeding programmes in European zoos.

Our lion is part of the EAZA ex-situ breeding programme (EEP).