The Barbary Lion was the largest lion of the subspecies. They possessed a large black mane that extended to the underbelly and groin. Their mane also extended longer along its back and over its shoulders. The Barbary lions lived in the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa, from Morocco to Egypt. They were more heavily built than today's lions weighing over 500 lbs and reaching 9-11 feet in length. Barbary Lions have been officially declared extinct in the wild.
Big males of either type (Barbary or Cape Lions) could weigh 500lbs and reach ten feet in length. As referenced, the mane extended down the middle of the back as is one of the physical differences between this species and the modern African Lion. The tips of the ears were also black. In recent historic times Barbary Lions had a range that extended from Tripoli through Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. The last stronghold for the Barbary was the Atlas mountains in Morocco, where they lasted until the last one was killed in 1922 rendering the species extinct in the wild. There are Barbary lions in captive breeding programs which are undergoing DNA testing to verify the purity of their origin (it is estimated there are less than 30 in captivity). It is known that the Barbary Lion was kept by Roman Emperors and literally thousand were taken from their homes to Italy to serve as gladiator's rivals.
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