North East Congo Lion; Southwest African Lion (Katanga Lion) and Transvaal Lion

A captive Southwest African Lion or Katanga lion at Leipzig Zoo (Attribution - Appaloosa) (CC BY-SA 3.0)The Northeast Congo Lion (Panthera Leo Azandica) is not very much different from the other seven species of lion. The name ‘Azandica‘ is from it’s area of distribution, which is in the north eastern part of the Congo. They have a life span of approximately ten to fourteen years in the wild and inhabit the grassland areas.

Like many African animals, the Northeast Congo Lions are also an endangered species and the reason is loss of their habitat. Their numbers have fallen by fifty percent in the last two decades. An international breeding program is trying to increase their population.

Southwest African Lion or Katanga Lion

The Southwest African Lion or Katanga Lion (Panthera leo bleyenberghi) is a subspecies that lives in southwestern Africa. It is found in Namibia, Zaire, Angola, Botswana and Zambia. Like in other subspecies lionesses do most of the hunting in Katanga lions too. Their prey mostly include zebras, warthogs, antelopes and wildebeests. The males tend to have manes that are lighter in color than other subspecies.

Transvaal Lion

Transvaal Lion (Photo - Mark Pellegrini)
Transvaal Lion (Photo – Mark Pellegrini)

Transvaal Lion (Panthera leo krugeri) or the Southeast African Lion is found in southern Africa, including Kruger National Park. It is so named because it is found in the Transvaal region of South Africa. Like all other subspecies (except the Tsavo), Transvaal males too have mane. Here also lionesses do most of the hunting. They prey on warthogs, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, zebras and occasionally giraffe calves if their normal prey is scarce.

Leucism does occur in these lions, but it is quite rare. It’s a condition typified by reduced pigmentation both in humans and animals alike. Different from albinism, it is caused by lessening of all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.

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