This page is a resource guide for those who like lions, or those looking for more information on the subject of lions. One of the goals of this resource guide is to provide more in-depth information on the subject than can be found anywhere else on the internet.
The lion in the above picture is 'Kitty', and he was for many years the main attraction at the N.E.W. zoo in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Starting out with just a pair of bears, a pair of lions, and some local wildlife, the citizens of the Green Bay area have managed to build a really wonderful zoo. And they did it using mostly private funding! If you ever visit Green Bay, take some time to visit their zoo, which is about 20 minutes Northwest of the city.
Kitty was the first lion that I was able to spend any length of time observing and studying.
Sadly, Kitty died sometime in April of 2005; He died basically of complications of old age. He had been showing some signs of being sick. One morning, the zookeepers found him dead. As far as I know, he never fathered any cubs, quite possibly as a result of policies contained in the American Zoo and Aquarium's (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP). I get the feeling that the magnificent presence of the lion may become a thing of the past at this zoo. Besides living on spiritually to those who loved Kitty (and he did have a lot of friends among the keepers!), some of Kitty will live on to help educate people (children, especially) about lions. One of his paws and some of his mane will ultimately be available to visitors to allow them to touch and experience part of a real lion. And for those who truly loved Kitty, those items will have special and deep meaning!
I get a lot of requests for larger versions of this picture. You can download this picture here! (Jpeg image, 173K) Special thanks to my friend Matt Darby, who did some retouching to this picture to remove an objectionable glass reflection! Incidently, all lion pictures on the 'King of Beasts' site, unless noted otherwise, are in the public domain.
And speaking of special and deep meaning, I now have the skin of a leoine friend who, too died of old age in August of 2003. His name is Chucky, and he will soon be telling his story on these pages. Chucky is my 'ambassador lion', who travels with me into classrooms, etc. to teach others about the lion and the importance of protecting them for future generations to enjoy and admire. When Chucky is not on the road, he blesses my home with his magnificent presence. And from time to time, I feel Chucky's spirit, thanking me for saving his beautiful mane for other people to admire. (No, lions aren't the least bit vain!! ;- ) ) Another very dear leoine friend, named Leo, shared a similar fate in 2005. His owner has done the same thing with him, and Leo's remarkable life story will also be told on these pages.
I now have African lions as neighbors! Check out the Lion House page for the complete story of the project. You will also have a chance to meet my leoine neighbors! More details about this can be found below.
Check out the lion scene in Las Vegas at the newly updated Las Vegas Lions Page!
Coming Soon! I am now a lionkeeper! I volunteer at the aforementioned Sierra Safari Zoo, working mainly with their big cats. I plan to share some of my experiences and observations with you. I am also planning a page that will discuss a day in the life of a zookeeper who works with these magnificent animals. (It's a lot of hard work, but a single 'lion kiss' makes it all worthwhile!)
Part of my work at the zoo with the big cats involved an unusual big cat called a liger. Ligers are the cross between a male lion and a female tiger. This particular liger, named 'Hobbs' was one of my best kitty friends. He had chosen me to be his friend rather than the other way around. Why, I will never know. But, we had five wonderful years together! Sadly, Hobbs died in February 2007, with me by his side. To celebrate the life of this remarkable animal, I have created the Hobbs memorial page. I have included a lot of pictures of this unusual cat. Enjoy!
Updated! I have added a page, called 'Writings on Lions' to accomodate all sorts of papers, research, essays, fiction, etc. about the King of Beasts. This could include your writings, as well as mine! A lot of material has been added there in the last few months, including Joseph Ravitt's novel-length Narnia fan fiction, 'Southward the Tigers'. The most recent post is a paper on animal rights philosophy.
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engraving by Ludwig Beckmann, circa. 1875-80
The number one question asked by visitors to this site is: If a lion and a tiger were to fight, which one would win. The immediate answer would seem to be the tiger, as a siberian tiger outweighs a lion by a substantial margin. Maxine Annabell has taken it upon herself to carefully research this topic, and the real answer might surprise you. Learn more on her outstanding tiger site at www.lairweb.org.nz/tiger/ NOTE: I do not support or encourage this kind of fighting!