Male lion letting out a big roar

Something to roar about

Lion cub in tree

Lions are often called “The King of Beasts.” As top predators, lions are important to the health of their habitat.

 

They are also different from other kinds of cats in many ways. Get a paw up on what makes these cats so cool:

Male Lion sports a little mane

"Mane" attraction

A male lion’s mane gets thicker and darker with age. But there are male lions living in hot dry areas that have no mane!

Lion pride

A team effort

They are the only cats that live in a group, called a pride. Working together to hunt helps them get bigger prey, like a zebra or Cape buffalo. A lone lion usually takes down smaller animals, like a Thomson's gazelle.

Male lion holds his tufted tail up while young cub follows him

Tale of the tail

Lions are the only cats with a tuft on the tip of the tail. Scientists think the cats wave it to signal each other during a hunt.

close up of a lions whiskers

Connect the dots

Every whisker sprouts from a black dot on the lion’s face. The pattern of those dots is as different as our fingerprints. Researchers can use this to tell lions apart.

Lions have been an important part of the San Diego Zoo for 100 years! In fact, it’s because of a lion that the Zoo was even “born.” Our founder heard the roar of a lion left behind after a fair, and decided to care for the cat and start a zoo!