Southwest African lion
|Southwest African lion|
|Southwest African lion in Etosha National Park, Namibia.|
|Southwest African lioness in Etosha National Park, Namibia.|
|Subspecies:||P. l. bleyenberghi|
|Panthera leo bleyenberghi
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. Besides the Southeast African lion, it is considered as the largest living lion subspecies, in the wilderness of Africa. The type specimen was from Katanga (Zaire). Kalahari lions may be either Panthera leo bleyenberghi or Panthera leo krugeri. In 2008, surveys were conducted in the Upemba and Kundelungu National Parks located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but no evidence for the presence of lions was found.
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). Their manes tend to be lighter in color than those of other subspecies.
On record, the longest wild lion apparently was a male shot near Mucusso, southern Angola, in October 1973, which measured nearly 360 cm (11.8 ft), in total. By comparison, the biggest Siberian tiger reportedly measured 350 cm (11.5 ft) "over the curves," or 330 cm (10.8 ft) "between the pegs," the heaviest Bengal tiger (388.7 kg (857 lb)) reportedly measured 338 cm (11.09 ft) "over the curves," or 322 cm (10.56 ft) "between the pegs," and the record for the Indian lion was 2.92 m (9.6 ft), including the tail (Sinha, 1987).
Hunting and prey
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 were captured in Angola and Zimbabwe.
However, the purity of these captive lions was not confirmed. Genetic analysis indicated that they could have been maternally derived from West or Central African lions, which appeared to be more closely related to North African and Asiatic lions than to other Sub-Saharan African lions.
- Cape lion
- Cecil (lion)
- East African lion
- Lady Liuwa
- Northeast Congo lion
- Kafue National Park
- Prishibinsk tiger
- Mucusso elephant
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