The Lion’s Den: Once Africa to Asia, and everywhere in between, but now just scattered across the African continent with one last stronghold in India.
Although the mighty Lion’s jungle over which he ruled once extended all across Europe, Asia, and Africa, that is no longer the case. Lions are extinct all over Europe, many populations are threatened in Africa, and only one population remains in Asia. In fact, until around 10,000 years ago the Lion was the most widespread large land mammal, right after humans.
While there are a number of subspecies of African Lions, there is only one subspecies of Asian Lion being the Asiatic Lion, of which there is only one population left in the Gir Forest of India where they number just below 300. There are very few physical differences between subspecies, which has lead to some dispute among the subspecification of many of the African Lions, while the Asiatic Lion’s classification is generally accepted. Unique to the African Lions, and one subspecies in particular (Panthera leo krugeri) is the white Lion. They are not true albinos, but simply leucistic, which is a reduction in all types of pigment whereas albinism is a drastic reduction of just melanin.
(Photo TL African Lion by emster214; photos TR & BR Asiatic Lions by Tambako the Jaguar; photo ML Asiatic Lion by f0rbe5; photo MR white African Lion by Katarina 2353; photo BL African Lion by Alexander Yates)
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