Lion pictures – plus a map showing where they were taken

I wanted to build a page on lion pictures. But how to do it a bit differently and usefully was the question. Well, I have chosen from the forty or so Flickr photographs of lions that are available for publication under a creative commons license (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic) and presented the best 15 in my judgment here in sequence and in thumbnail together with the locations where the pictures were taken on a custom Google map prepared by me, the original of which can be seen here: Lion Pictures.

The map is at the base of the page and you can flick around guessing where the images came from. Click on the blue flags to see the lion pictures reproduced. Note: this page was first published in about 2010. It has been adjusted and upgraded slightly.

Here is a recent addition added on May 17, 2022. This is not a thumbnail. Nice picture. Great picture actually.

Picture of two male lions in the pouring rain

Picture of two male lions in the pouring rain by Amy Shutt on Twitter.

And another – this is also not a thumbnail:


Lion. Image by wendy CORNIQUET from Pixabay


lion pictures by ~Sage~ African Lion Safari OntarioThis photo is by ~Sage~ a well known Flickr photographer of cats and other things!

It was taken at the African Lion Safari Ontario. See the map below for location.

Male and female lion in the premier wildlife park in Canada.

Lion picture taken at Chester Zoo, England by Adam Foster CodeforPhoto by Adam Foster | Codefor and taken at Chester Zoo, England.

This charming lion cub had to be put down because he had a developmental abnormality. Was it due to inbreeding?

Lion picture from the serengeti national park photo by whatchamakallitPhoto by whatchamakallit. This lion picture was taken in the Serengeti National Park a great place for lion pictures.

lion picture of a tree climbing lion near lake Manhara Tanzania by Catalpa 34

The tree climbing lions of Lake Manyara, Tanzania. Lion pictures wouldn’t be complete without one of these well known lions. Photo by Catalpa 34.

See lion habitat

See Lion Range

Lion picture of cub and person in Egypt by Xavier FargasPicture taken in Egypt but I am not sure where. Great photo though and a bit disturbing really.  For me there is something palpably wrong here. The man is proud and the lion cub frightened. Wasn’t always that way?

Photo by Xavier Fargas

Chalk lion Whipsnade lion pictures by Today is a good dayI have been a bit naughty here and included a chalk white lion at Whipsnade, England because the photo is so damn good. Photo by Today is a good day – well done the photographer. The location is near where he/she live so I think a lot of time was spent waiting and well rewarded it was.

lion pictures - lions in the Serengeti National Park - photo by Catalpa 34 - 1Lions on the Serengeti Plains – the Serengeti National Park.

You can feel the heat and these lions look quite “beat up” and tired. It is a pretty hard life out there even for a lion . One of the classic lion pictures.

Photo by Catalpa 34.

lion pictures of femals head butting a male at Philadelphia zoo - photo by digitalART2Female lion head butts a male lion at Philadelphia Zoo. This is the classic head butt that our domestic cats give to us all the time.

Photo by digitalART2

lion picture one lion in water the other trying to get her out - photo by ucumariThis is on of those really interesting lion pictures by a well known Flickr photographer: ucumari . The lion in the water wants to recover a play ball and the lion nibbling her backside (sister) is trying to get her back on dry land but she will have none of it. See Water Cats.

circus lion being washed in bath tub - photo by Wisconsin Historical SocietyCircus lion. This lion picture was taken in the state of Wisconsin before 1940. The lion is very domesticated. The bathtub is too small. I hope he was rinsed properly. One of the interesting and historical lion pictures.

Photo: by Wisconsin Historical Society

lion pictures toronto zoo ontario two lions cuddle photo by Property#1Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada. A totally charming picture. One of the best lion pictures by another very good Flickr photographer: by Property#1

See: Lion vs Tiger

lion pictures lion cubs north carolina zoological park photo by ucumariCharming picture by ucumari of two cubs at North Carolina Zoological Park. Lion pictures can be very sweet.

Ucumari is the best captive wild animal photographer in my opinion.

See: Leopard Cubs

lion pictures a photoshopped picture of human face and lion face by Desirée DelgadoA fine edited (manipulated) photo by an expert, by Desirée Delgado who really knows how to do it. And this reflects our fascination with the lion and our desire to possess the lions powers. Sadly we don’t do it in this way often, we prefer to eat the big cats. Tiger Farms.

photo montage and manipulation of lion and landscape - by ViaMoiThis photo montage of a lion and landscape is by one of the big name Flickr photographers: by ViaMoi. I think it falls within the ambit of the title “lion pictures”.

He is a very talented committed photographer and a professional photographer.

Please click on the link above and explore his Flickr home page – you will not be disappointed.

lion cubs at play at Knowsley Safari Park - photo by rofanatorLion Pictures – two lion cubs at play at Knowsley Safari Park. This is in the north of England near Liverpool.

Photo by rofanator

See: Snow Leopard Cubs

Here is the embedded Google My Map showing where these lion pictures where made or created together with a reproduction of the image:

As I said, if you like you can click on the blue flags and see where the above lion pictures were made.

I was going to describe the lion to add to the lion pictures but found this (for me) disturbing and very sad story that is now 172 years old intervened. It actually almost made me feel sick and I can barely bring myself to read it. It is reproduced verbatim thanks to it being in the public domain and thanks to Google who produced this from the scanned pages. I have no idea how they do that but thanks to Google.

It gives a fascinating glimpse into how the lion was so wantonly hunted in those early years. It also describes how fabulous the lion is but despite its tremendous courage and aggression, when need, it cannot be a match for the bullet and humankind. The language is old fashioned, of course, but poignantly intelligible nonetheless.


THE following adventure befell three officers a few years ago in Guzerat Captain D Mr W and a friend who shall be without name or initial went out one afternoon mounted on an elephant to beat for lions. They had not proceeded far into the jungle before they encountered one of these animals and shot it dead. Scarcely had the guns been reloaded when a scout gave intimation of a second lion being close at hand.

Anxious to obtain the most accurate intelligence respecting the exact place in which the noble game was to be found one of the party descended from the howdah mounted a horse which his servant was leading in the rear and dashed off. Scarcely had he proceeded a hundred yards in the direction pointed out by the scout before he found himself pursued by the very animal of which he was in search.

Repenting the indiscretion which had placed him in this predicament prudence dictated the propriety of enlarging the distance between them and putting spurs to his horse he galloped at its utmost speed and making a detour over the ground soon got through the heavy jungle and rejoined the elephant on whose back the rash adventurer was but too happy to regain a safe footing.  Having at considerable risk to himself obtained information of a very interesting nature the head of the elephant was turned in the direction which the lion had taken and the party moved forward.  Almost before they could venture to hope to come upon his footsteps their courageous foe was perceived advancing boldly towards them.

When the noble animal had approached within twenty yards of the elephant which stood the charge remarkably well each man fired every ball according to subsequent examination taking effect.  Had the contents of the barrels been perfectly innocuous they could not have been received with more indifference not a single moment did the lion pause in his career and advancing if possible with greater determination than before he gave a spring and fastened on the trunk and face of the elephant.

The mahout was a courageous fellow accustomed to similar encounters. He began to hammer away at his assailant’s head with the iron crook employed by him to guide the colossal animal under his charge. The lion not altogether relishing this kind of discipline let go his hold dropped on the ground and sprung on the hindquarters of the elephant and in so doing nearly dragged one of the sportsmen over. While engaged in this close conflict the occupants of the howdah were not idle a gun was hastily reloaded and discharged muzzle up into the body of the lion who immediately fell from the elephant which feeling itself free made off at a round pace.

As soon as the terrified creature could be brought to a halt Mr W determined to dismount and go in search of the valiant foe on foot.  Finding all attempts at dissuasion fruitless his two companions generously resolved to accompany him and accordingly all three alighted and on reaching the field of battle found the lion on his legs again facing them with a bold front but evidently as they thought the worse for the balls which had been lodged in his body. Each man advanced steadily till within a few paces of the animal when Captain D fired off both his barrels.  At this renewal of hostilities the lion instead of attacking his first assailant dashed at once on Mr W who discharged his right hand barrel but had not time to pull the trigger of the left Raising himself on his hind legs in a rampant attitude the enraged beast sprang right upon the adversary whom he had singled out.

At this the third individual of the party lost all presence of mind he had borne up manfully until now but his nerves could bear no more so turning round he flung himself on his face in the thickest bush he could find and lay there as still as a mouse. Nothing daunted Mr W entered at once into a personal contest with his powerful antagonist employing gun in his defence which proved essential service although at length lion’s strength prevailed and he got luckless sportsman fairly tmder him this critical moment Captain D that his gun was disabled after ineffectual efforts to discharge it he obliged to make his way out of the to procure assistance.

The lion the whole of this time as if content having obtained the victory did not to molest his vanquished foe in words to his greatness he added clemency.  Night was now approaching the had disappeared and the transitory twilight of an Indian evening had flung veil over the scene Captain D stimulated by the imminent danger of his friend exerted himself very strenuously in restoration of his gun to a condition and having succeeded he returned as quickly as possible cautiously through the brushwood as drew near the eventful spot alive to the apprehensions suggested the fearful situation of his companions the cheering words uttered in an whisper.

A little more to the right Dal restored all his self-possession another instant Captain D the lion standing close beside the prostrate body which he had watched sedulously Creeping a foot or nearer he once more took a aim and firing at the gallant beast fell instantly dead on the ground Mr W being uninjured was able to home to the tents to receive the congratulations of his brother upon his providential escape.

On opening the body of the lion no fewer nine balls were found lodged in directions the last shot alone piercing a vital part though in all probability a lingering death would have ensued the preceding wounds Asiatic Journal

Before I finish this post on lion pictures it is a good opportunity to talk briefly about the appearance of the lion. The source is Wild Cats Of The World (Sunquists).

  • 1608 book – Edward Topsell says, “the colour of lions is generally yellow..” Yes, but it is a unsaturated yellow isn’t. And it has shades from yellow to greyish to dark brown. The coat, as we know, has no pattern.
  • the end of the tail has a black tuft.
  • the back of each ear flap has a black patch (ocelli – false eye)
  • lions can be albino but rarely (Kruger National Park was one place where they were found). This is a genetic mutation. Lions can also be black (melanistic) but this is very rare also. See a black wild cat hybrid, Chausie, and a melanistic jungle cat – Felis chaus.
  • The African and Asian lion are very similar. The Asiatic lion has a belly fold, which is rarely seen in African lions. The Egyptian Mau has a belly fold (or flap) too. The coat of the African lion is thinner and their mane thicker.
  • the male lion’s mane darkens with age, it seems. It grows at different rates depending on the lion. It makes a lion look more impressive to us and other animals. It is a visual signal for that purpose. It also helps protect the head region in fights.
  • the lions forelimbs are more muscled than the hind limbs (to better grasp and hold prey).
  • the male lion is about 123 cms at the shoulder (4 feet).

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. March 22, 2013

    […] of a vulnerable and beautiful wild cat species. I am sure cute abuse it not limited to tigers. Lion cubs look extremely cute too. White tiger cubs are particularly cute, which is, actually, abuse […]

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