African Lion
(Panthera Leo)

Lions are the second largest member of the cat family, surpassed only by the Siberian tiger.  A fully grown male lion can weigh up to 550 lbs.  They are one of the Big Cats, the others being the tiger, jaguar, and leopard.  All of the Big Cats can roar, something the small cats like your pet cat at home cannot do!

Lions are the only social cats. They live in groups called prides made up of females with their offspring, usually ruled by a pair of older male brothers. A pride of lion can be up to 40 members strong in rare occasions. A lion can live for up to 20 years in captivity , but in the wild an 8 year old lion would be considered very old.

At Bowmanville Zoo we have an extremely close bond with our lions, they were all raised by our trainers and are part of our family.  The lions view their human friends as part of the pride.

Facts & Myths

  • Lions are an endangered species. There are only 15,000 wild lions left in Africa
  • Prehistoric lions roamed here in Southern Ontario! The American Lion was the African Lion’s closest relative and went extinct only 10,000 years ago. The European lion roamed much of Europe until 500 years ago. A tiny population of Asian lions survive in India.
  • Although lions are referred to as the king of beasts, they are neither the heaviest nor the largest of the great cats. The Siberian Tiger is the largest and heaviest of all cats, measuring up to 10 feet long and weighing nearly 700 pounds.