Southwest African lion

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Southwest African lion
Die pure Kraft - Löwe im Etosha-Nationalpark.JPG
Lion male in Etosha National Park, Namibia
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: Panthera leo
Subspecies: P. l. bleyenberghi
Trinomial name
Panthera leo bleyenberghi
(Lönnberg, 1914)

The Southwest African lion or Katanga lion (Panthera leo bleyenberghi) is a subspecies of the lion that lives in southwestern Africa. It is found in Namibia, Angola, Zaire, western Zambia, western Zimbabwe and northern Botswana. The type specimen was from Katanga (Zaire).[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Southwest African lions are among the largest subspecies. Males are around 2.5–3.10 metres (8.2–10.2 feet) long including the tail. Females are 2.3–2.65 metres (7.5–8.7 feet). The weight of males is generally 140–242 kg (308–533 pounds), and the females are 105–170 kg (231–378 pounds). They have a shoulder height of 0.90–1.20 metres (3.0–4.0 feet).

Hunting and prey[edit]

Like other African lions, Katanga lions prey mostly on large animals, like zebras, wildebeest, antelope, and warthogs. The males tend to have manes that are lighter in color than lions of other subspecies.

In captivity[edit]

A captive Southwest African Lion at Leipzig Zoo

A small captive population exists. There are 29 lions from this subspecies registered by the International Species Information System. These animals are derived from animals, which are captured in Angola and Zimbabwe.[2] However, the purity of these captive lions can not be confirmed. Genetic Analysis indicate that they could be maternally derived from West or Central African lions.[3]


  1. ^ Haas, S.K.; Hayssen, V.; Krausman, P.R. (2005). "Panthera leo" (PDF). Mammalian Species 762: 1–11. doi:10.1644/1545-1410(2005)762[0001:PL]2.0.CO;2. 
  2. ^ Barnett, R.; Yamaguchi, N.; Barnes, I.; and Cooper, A. (2006). "The origin, current diversity and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo)". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 273 (1598): 2119–25. doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3555. PMC 1635511. PMID 16901830. 
  3. ^ Bertola, L. D., van Hooft, W. F. Vrieling, K., Uit de Weerd, D. R., York, D. S., Bauer, H., Prins, H. H., Funston, P. J., Udo de Haes, H. A., Leirs, H., van Haeringen, W., A., Sogbohossou, E., Tumenta, P. N., de Iongh, H. H. (2011). "Genetic diversity, evolutionary history and implications for conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in West and Central Africa". Journal of Biogeography 38 (7): 1356. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02500.x. 

External links[edit]