How would you react if you came face to face with a black lion if it really existed? Would you run? Faint? Scream?
Today we’re going to explore the legend of the black lion ! In 2012, an image of what appears to be a black lion went viral on the internet. However, as you probably know, not everything is reliable on the networks, so people started to wonder if black lions really existed. As opposed to some of the legends of mythological creatures, this story is actually quite simple.
1) Do Black Lions Exist ?
NOT REALLY, at least we’d like to tell you that black lions have been seen in the wild and that they are a proven subspecies, but they are not. The image that went viral is actually a hoax that has been admitted, it is actually a retouch of a shot taken at the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn, South Africa.
Melanism is a rare congenital disease that involves an abnormal growth in the amount of black pigment (melanin) naturally present in an organism. Most life forms have some amount of melanin present. When melanin decreases abnormally it includes the opposite condition, albinism.
Various mammals are affected by this phenomenon, including squirrels, wolves, leopards and jaguars. An interesting fact is that the term “black panther” does not refer to a distinct species of cat but rather to the melanistic leopards in Asia and Africa and the panthers in Central and South America. By the way, if you like these mystical-looking felines, we invite you to discover this computer cover.
It is theoretically possible that an all-black lion exists, however there is no documentation of the existence of such an animal.
There are some reports that stand out. One of the most prominent is found in naturalist George Adamson’s 1987 book, “My Pride And Joy”. In this book, Adamson talks about an “almost entirely black” specimen seen in Tanzania in its natural habitat.
Sarah Hartwell at a big cat blog reports that in 2008 several big black lions were seen on the streets at night in Matsulu Township, near Mpumalanga, South Africa. However, government officials found no evidence to validate the rumors, it was eventually concluded that these lions had dark brown markings and that the darkness had probably impaired the vision of the inhabitants.
A large Persian lion (currently on the IUCN endangered red list) was reportedly seen by an archaeologist named Sir Henry Layard during the 19th century. It was described as being very dark brown and almost black on some parts of its body. In addition, in the Glasgow Zoological Park a partially black lion was present in captivity, however it was infertile. The lion in this zoo had a long black patch running from its front paw to its chest.
2) The Lions Basics
Let’s take a quick look at our friends the lions (Panthera Leo). Lions used to be found in Africa, Asia and southern Europe. As we saw in the article on lion habitat, over many centuries of hunting and other destructive activities, humans have reduced wild populations in sub-Saharan Africa to the heart of the savannah and a small part of India. These incredible predators can weigh from 125 to 250 kg and run at speeds of up to 56 km/hr, especially for African lions. Of all the wild animals in the world, the Siberian tiger is the only one that is larger than the lion.
These wild animals are above all social mammals living in groups called prides that are now considered an endangered species. Generally these groups are composed of one male and five to fifteen females. Carnivorous male lions have a large mane of fur around their head, shoulders and at the end of their tail. The coat of both lions and lionesses is golden to brown in color, however a male’s mane can vary from red to dark brown.
The global white lion protection trust announces that white lions are genetic anomalies unique to the Timbavati region of South Africa. To the present day, they are regarded as “technically extinct” in the wildlife because of excessive poaching. However, efforts are being made to preserve these last remaining felids.
If you wish to display this mystical power this black lion painting will be a great choice in your wall decor. This abstract painting will look great in a living room.
- Black Lion Wall Art$24.90 – $169.90
3) More Information About Fake Pictures
It’s no secret that many fake images have been circulating on physical and software media since the invention of photography. With the advent of digital photography and photo editing software, these fakes have only spread through social networks. As a result, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York dedicated an exhibition to the “art” of the fake image in 2012.
The photo of the black lion is just one example among many others that have circulated on the internet. For example an image purporting to feature a pig-nosed fish was put forward. A set of viral images depicting a cobra with three to seven heads has been unveiled. There are also montages of tigers, giraffes, bears, birds, insects and much more. All these images are actually hoaxes.