Do Black Lions Exist (Fact Or Fiction)

When it comes to the black lion, you might already think you have seen one on the internet. From social media posts of Photoshopped black lions, to the many stories that have been passed down through the generations, it’s hard not believe that they may exist.

However, there isn’t actually any proof that they do, despite what you may have seen online or heard. Whilst there might be no evidence of a fully black lion, there is real documentation of black maned lions.

Do Black Lions Exist (Fact Or Fiction)

In fact, there are said to be around 50 still alive. Comparing that to the overall 23,000 of African Lions in the wild, it isn’t a lot.

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Sadly, because of climate change and humans, the two species left of lions has been dramatically decreased, with not as many remaining in areas such as Asia or Africa. 

And to put it in perspective, the Asian lion is close to extinction. Unfortunately, the African lion is going that way too. This means that the black mane lions are in danger.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the possibility of black lions existing!

Have People Ever Seen A Black Lion?

Unfortunately, there has never been any documentation that has proved black lions exist. This doesn’t mean that they never have existed, just that we have no proof.

There could have been times that people have seen a dark brown lion, or perhaps covered in mud, where a person has assumed it was a black lion. This could be a reason why some of the stories exist.

Again, the Ethiopian lion is known to have a black mane, with many claiming that it also has really dark fur. This could be another reason why people think that they are seeing a black lion.  

Sadly, there are many animals who have become extinct, and this is what could have happened to the black lion. Lions, like a lot of wild animals, are not immune to humans and their intrusions.

This means that many are going extinct due to climate change and the changing of the world.

Why Are People Convinced Black Lions Are Real?

People don’t just think there are black lions because there are stories and supposed photographic evidence. There is also a possibility that they did exist at some point in the past.

Leopards and jaguars have a form of melanism which causes them to create a lot more melanin compared to other species of lion. This is why their fur has different colors.

This in itself suggests that there is a possibility that there may have been an all black lion. We see those black spots on big cats in the wild, so why can’t there be an all black lion? At least there could have been. 

Unfortunately, it seems trying to document whether they existed is quite impossible due to their being little to no evidence, just theory. 

Have People Ever Seen A Black Maned Lion?

Have People Ever Seen A Black Maned Lion?

Whilst there are dark colored lions, the all black lion has never been caught on photograph – if it exists. The ones you see online have been photoshopped and should all be taken with a pinch of salt.

This is because no zoologist, or even a hunter, has recorded any documentation that they really exist. However, as we stated before, it could all be to do with mistaking a lion for a black lion.

This lion could be the Ethiopian lion which has a black mane. There is no doubt that their dark fur has confused some into thinking that an all black lion really does exist.

And it makes sense if you are looking at the lion from afar. Your eyes may not be able to adjust to the realities of the color, or the mud that is stuck to its fur. 

Is the Black Mane Lion Endangered?

Unfortunately, yes they are. But it seems to be the same for most, if not all, lions. Without any form of positive human intervention, they would rapidly decline. That’s because both the Asian and African lions are in serious danger of vanishing completely.

There are around 10,000 currently in captivity, with only around 20,000 in the wilderness. To put it into perspective, of these 10,000 lions who have been put into captivity, only 80 are said to be Asian lions.

Sadly, there are only around 600 Asian Lions out in the wild, which isn’t a lot at all. This means that both the black mane lion and the Asian lions are in serious danger of becoming extinct. 

Where Do They Live?

As we have previously stated, the black maned lions live in Ethiopia. In fact, they live in the mountains as far away from humans as possible. This could be a good reason why people don’t generally see them.

If you plan to take a look at these in person, it would be a long trek. They live far away from anything human related, so you would need to be prepared to be away from civilization for quite some time.

And just to add to how recent the discovery was, it was only in 2016 when a pride of the black maned lions were found. So, who knows, maybe one day somebody will seek out the pride of black lions?

Final Thoughts On The Black Lion

Even though we may have seen a black lion on the internet, in reality, there is absolutely no proof that they exist. That doesn’t mean that they never have done so, after all, we know that leopards and jaguars have black on their fur due to melanism.

Instead, people who say they have seen one may have actually seen a black maned lion. They can appear darker in color, and exist wildly in the mountains of Ethiopia away from any humans.

To seek them out would be an adventure, one that people rarely take. So the next time you hear about the black lion, send them here!

Joe Edwards
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