There are only 20,000 lions left in the wild. Of the eight original species known in the Holocene, the age of man, one is extinct, 2 are critically endangered, and one lives on in captivity only: the Addis Ababa lion. Of the five remaining species that make up most of their population, I’ve been privileged to observe three: the Masai lion in Kenya and Tanzania; the Southwest African lion in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia; and the Transvaal lion, found in and around Kruger National Park in South Africa. I’ll post a photos of them until World Lion Day.
This Masai lion has a wonderful mane, marking him as an older lion. Male Masai lions have a great range of mane types, from nonexistent to luxurious, from red to black. A Masai male lion grows up to 9 feet long. The Ghost and the Darkness, the famous lions who killed 35 railroad workers in 1848 were Tsavo lions, a maneless variation of the Masai lion with a reputation for aggressiveness.