Lion (African)

Theme area:  Big Cat House
Scientific name:  Panthera Leo
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Africa
Habitat:  Savanna
Diet:  Carnivorous
Weight:  120 - 191 kg
Size:  1,2 m (height to shoulder)
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We are delighted to introduce the 3 new lionesses Hira, Emma and Narla.  They arrived mid-May from West Midland Safari Park and have been settling in really well.  Hira, who will be four in September, along with Emma and Narla, who are both 18, were all born at West Midlands Safari Park and have close bonds with each other.  Keepers describe Emma and Narla as quite strong individuals, whilst Hira is more of a gentle soul who looks to them for leadership.

Khari, the male lion born in Blackpool Zoo in 2015, is being gradually introduced to form the new pride.

Their new state-of-the-art home, Big Cat Habitat, has increased indoor space and a larger off-show management area will be complimented by extended external paddocks and improved keeper facilities, which will enable the best possible care for the magnificent animals.  It officially opened on Friday 26th May 2023.

Lions are the only cats that live in groups, which are called prides.  Prides are family units that may include up to three males, a dozen or so females, and their young.  All of a pride's lionesses are related, and female cubs typically stay with the group as they age.  Young males eventually leave and establish their own prides by taking over a group headed by another male.

Get unbelievably close to these awesome predators with only a pane of glass between you - you can almost smell the lions’ breath!  These magnificent cats live between 10 and 14 years in the wild . Adult male lions are instantly recognisable by the thick growth of hair on the neck, the mane, and the thicker and darker the mane, the more attractive the lion becomes to the females as this is a sign of good health. Lions usually hunt after dark as they have excellent night vision.


Several large and well-managed protected areas in Africa host large lion populations.  Where an infrastructure for wildlife tourism has been developed, cash revenue for park management and local communities is a strong incentive for lion conservation.  The only real threats to lions in the wild come from human poaching and disease.

Conservation status
Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated

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