African lion facts
Are there African lions at Whipsnade Zoo?
Yes, Whipsnade Zoo is home to African lions.
Two-year-old lionesses Waka and Winta arrived at Whipsnade from Antwerp Zoo in Belgium in early May 2023. And they were joined in June by a male lion, Malik, from Neuwied Zoo in Germany. The 18-month-old will form a new pride with Waka and Winta. We hope to hear the pitter patter of tiny paws over the next few years!
While Whipsnade is home to an African lion habitat, London Zoo has Asiatic lions.
What do African lions look like?
- Lions are unique among cats in that the male can be easily distinguished from the female (lioness) because he possesses a mane of hair.
- As in most cats, lions' eyes are adapted for seeing at night when they do a lot of hunting.
- Their claws can be retracted in sheaths to prevent them getting blunted when walking across the savannah, which they can do almost noiselessly on soft pads.
What do African lions eat?
African lions are carnivorous, mainly eating mammals from giraffes to buffalo, deer and carrion.
What threats do African lions face in the wild?
African lions are categorised as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Their population is decreasing with threats including hunting, and habitat destruction for logging, livestock farming or housing.