1) The African lion is a vulnerable species and, in its area of African distribution, over the last two decades has suffered a decline in populations, possibly irreversible, between 30% and 50%.
2) Although the cause of this decline is not entirely understood, the loss of habitat and human conflicts are currently the most important reasons for concern.
3) There have been lions in captivity since the times of ancient Rome and since the late 1800’s they have been a highly sought-after species exhibited in zoos all over the world.
4) Males are very easy to distinguish thanks to their mane, which makes their head one of the most widely known animal symbols of human culture.
5) They appear very often in literature, sculpture, painting, in national flags and contemporary films and literature.
6) Despite attacks on humans, lions have enjoyed a favorable view of culture, such as strong but noble animals.
7) A typical image is its depiction as “King of the Jungle “; therefore, the lion is a famous symbol of royalty and, dignity as well as a symbol of courage.
8) It appears in several of the fables of the 6th century BC by Aesop.
9) The oldest representations of lions date back 32 000 years ago; The ivory-headed carvings of the cave of Vogelherd, in the Swabian Jura, in southwestern Germany, date back to the Aurignacian culture.
10) Two lions were depicted mating in the cave paintings Paleolithic in the Lascaux Cave (French southwest).
11) A careful examination of the prominent lion deities in many ancient cultures reveals that many of them were also lionesses.
12) Although lions do not usually hunt people, some (usually males) seem to look for human prey; some cases are well known as the “Tsavo Men’s Eaters” when Lions killed 28 railroad workers building the Kenya-Uganda railroad over a nine-month period.