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While lions do not typically hunt humans, some have.
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The commonly used term African lion collectively denotes the several subspecies in Africa.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae.
Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks.
The lion is classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), having seen a major population decline in its African range of 30–50% over two decades during the second half of the twentieth century.
It has been extensively depicted in sculptures, in paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films and literature.
Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves in France dated to 17,000 years ago, through virtually all ancient and medieval cultures where they once occurred.
However, a recent study revealed lions from western and central Africa differ genetically from lions of southern or eastern Africa.
Even the remaining seven subspecies might be too many. Mitochondrial variation in living African lions seemed to be modest according to some newer studies; therefore, all sub-Saharan lions have sometimes been considered a single subspecies.
Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates.
In the wild, males seldom live longer than 10 to 14 years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males.
Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies.