African lioness 2
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a major population decline of 30–50% over the past two decades in its African range.
Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire, and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos all over the world since the late 18th century. Today Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies. The pressure of vanishing and unprotected habitats forces the consideration of captive management, as for many species - zoos are likely to be the last stop on the way to extinction.