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Barbary Lion - Panthera leo leo - Largest Lion Subspecies

The Barbary Lion was the largest lion of the subspecies. They possessed a large black mane that extended to the underbelly and groin. Their mane also extended longer along its back and over its shoulders. The Barbary lions lived in the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa, from Morocco to Egypt. They were more heavily built than today's lions weighing over 500 lbs and reaching 9-11 feet in length. Barbary Lions have been officially declared extinct in the wild.
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Barbary Lion - Once the Largest Lion Subspecies
Barbary Lion - Largest Lion


Big males of either type (Barbary or Cape Lions) could weigh 500lbs and reach ten feet in length. As referenced, the mane extended down the middle of the back as is one of the physical differences between this species and the modern African Lion. The tips of the ears were also black. In recent historic times Barbary Lions had a range that extended from Tripoli through Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The last stronghold for the Barbary was the Atlas mountains in Morocco, where they lasted until the last one was killed in 1922 rendering the species extinct in the wild. There are Barbary lions in captive breeding programs which are undergoing DNA testing to verify the purity of their origin (it is estimated there are less than 30 in captivity). It is known that the Barbary Lion was kept by Roman Emperors and literally thousand were taken from their homes to Italy to serve as gladiator's rivals.


Scientific Name: Panthera leo leo
Range: (formerly) Northern Africa's Atlas Mountains, Morocco, Tunisia & Algeria
Average Weight:
Female: 65-80 kg (325-425 pounds)
Male: 90-100kg (425-500 pounds)
Length:
Female: 2.13m - 2.74m (7'-9')
Male: 2.74m - 3.35m (9'-11')
Diet: All lions are carnivorous. Lion prey consists mostly of pigs, deer, antelope, buffalo and other ungulates being large and small hooved mammals.
Gestation Period: 100-110 Days (Averaging 103 Days)
Cub Maturity: 18 months - 2 Years
Cubs Per Litter: (Usually 2-6 cubs) Cubs are born blind and weigh 2-3 pounds.
Lifespan: Lions live for approximately 15 Years
Predators: Unknown, Man
Social Structure: Solitary (except during Mating Season)
Territory Size: Northern Africa. Lions occur naturally today in the wild only throughout the plains of sub-Saharan Africa.
Conservation Status: The Barbary Lion has been extinct since the early 1920's.

Lions are currently protected under Appendix II of CITES, Endangered
Species Act.


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