About 23,000 African Lions (Panthera Leo) remain in existence in the wild. Only two sub-species leave little room for black lions to exist.
The encroachment of humans and climate change has wreaked havoc on both subspecies of lions, and few remain in Africa or Asia.
The two sub-species of the lion are the African and Asian lions. The Asian lion is almost extinct, and the African is not far behind.
Folklore and alleged sightings tell of lions that are so dark in color they look black.
The decline of the king of the jungle is troublesome. As their numbers continue to decline, not only are the black mane lions in danger but so are the other remaining 20,000 or so lions in the wild.
To find out if do black lions exist, read on for more information about these magnificent creatures.
Do black lions exist?
There are black lion tales handed down for centuries, including photoshopped images and carnival tricks. Still, there is no definitive proof of a pure black lion. However, there is documentation of black-maned lions, and a pride of about 50 still lives.
Are Black Lions related to Other Lions
There are mutations in most animals, and the lion does not get a pass on being born with features that are an oddity among their pride.
Legends indicate that the darker the mane, the stronger and more fierce the lion, as the dark mane means health and advanced age.
But, of course, that is a legend; however, many animal species have visual indicators of health and virility.
In 2016, a group of about 50 very dark maned lions was discovered in the mountains of Ethiopia. They live far from civilization and are challenging to get to.
However, one brave soul and his entourage made the trip. They were rewarded with an introduction to the few black mane lions in existence.
Thus, sightings have been few because of their geographical location. The ones that have been told of have been believed to be local legends instead of actual sightings.
Has Anyone Ever Seen a Black Lion: The Answer
There have been stories of lions covered in mud that were mistaken for black lions. In addition, the Ethiopian lion of the black mane has been claimed to have very dark brown fur, which may have led to legends.
However, there has never been documentation of a black lion that proves its existence. Hence, it’s possible that they exist sometime but they’re now extinct.
There are many lost species of animals, and the lion is not immune to the expansion of man into their territories. In addition, human intrusion and changing the landscape due to time and climate change have ravaged their hunting grounds.
Are Black-maned Lions Endangered
Without food, lions in the wild cannot sustain themselves. Without intervention, they would no longer exist, except in captivity.
They are huge animals, and a male can weigh over 550 pounds and eat about 15 pounds of food a day. That’s a lot of meat.
With their hunting grounds growing ever smaller and smaller, it will be hard for them to continue to find food. As their food supplies dwindle, their numbers will too.
Without man’s intervention positively, the black mane, African and Asian lions are all in danger of vanishing.
Even today, only 20,000 or so lions remain in the wilderness. However, there are 10,000 in captivity.
Of the 10,000 lions in captivity, 80 are Asian lions. Unfortunately, there are only about another 600 Asian lions in the wild, putting them and the black mane lions in genuine danger of extinction.
Where Black-maned Lions Live
Black-maned lions live in the mountains of Ethiopia, far away from man, which could be a probable reason why not a lot of people have seen them.
The backcountry where they have been documented is far from civilization and has no lodging or eateries. Thus, a trek to find a black-maned lion is an adventure that few will ever undertake.
In addition, when the pride of black mane lions was found in Ethiopia in 2016, it was quite a discovery. Fortunately, though, some are brave enough to seek the truth.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Existence of Black Lions
Why do people think there are black lions?
Both jaguars and leopards are known to exhibit melanism. This causes their body to create more melanin than other lions. This imbalance causes skin and fur color variation. So, there may have been black lions. Still, they’re so few and far that documenting their existence would be quite impossible.
Black Mane Lions Do Exist, Though
Although there are very dark brown and black-maned lions, a black lion has never been photographed.
Photoshopped, perhaps but no hunter or zoologist has recorded the existence of an entirely black lion.
Perhaps a sighting of these creatures was a case of mistaken identity. Everything looks bigger and scarier in the heat of a moment and the dark of the night and maybe part of the tale of black lions.
Since there is melanism in other animals, there may have been in lions that created a line of black lions that are now extinct.
However, one thing we know for sure, there is a pride of black mane lions in the mountains of Ethiopia. In addition, they are as big and ferocious as any of their relatives.
So if you are brave enough, you can visit them where they live.