- Most people consider lions to be animals that symbolize the vast savannahs of Africa, but this belief stems from the fact that lions were hunted nearly to extinction everywhere else. As recently as 2000 years ago, lions were still thriving in south-west Asia, ranging from Turkey to central India, and even reached the Balkan region of Europe. These are the Asian lions. Asian lions diverged from their African relatives about 100,000 years ago. In spite of the long period in which African (Panthera leo leo) and Asian (Panthera leo persica) lions were separate, these are considered sub-species, not separate species.
Photo: Menahem Kahana
In the Bible
"The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God." Psalms 104:21