African Lions

In the heart of sub-Saharan Africa live some of the world’s largest cats. We are home to male ‘Baruti’ and sisters ‘Mali’ and ‘Sabi’.

Iconic symbols of Africa with powerful roars

Second in size only to the Amur tiger, African lions are large cats and the apex predators of the savannah, managing large herbivore populations. Unusually among big cats, lions live in groups called prides, mixing males and females who take on different responsibilities such as territory defense and hunting. Lions are the only cats known to roar together.


  • IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (at high risk of extinction in the wild)
  • Type: Mammal
  • Habitat: Savannahs, plains, grasslands, and woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa
  • Diet: Carnivore – large animals like zebras and wildebeests
  • Size: 4.5 to 6.5 feet tall (head and body)
  • Weight: 265 to 420 pounds
African lion, Baruti Lion Lion

Care & Conservation

How we care for them

At the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, we are bringing together our passion for plants and animals with our dedication to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places.
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facts about our animals

Fun Facts about African Lions

Female lions are the hunters for the pride.

Lions are most active at night.

Juvenile lions have light spots that disappear with age.

Male lions grow manes that darken as they age.

A lion’s roar can be heard from eight kilometres away.

Lions can run at speeds of up to 81 kilometres per hour.



How you can help

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Meet our Animals

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Hippo at the zoo

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Western Lowland Gorilla

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Western Lowland Gorillas

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Plan your visit

Get close to wildlife

It’s time to make some memories. Here’s everything you need to know to plan an unforgettable day at the zoo.