Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic lions.
The lion's closest relatives are the other species of the genus Panthera: the tiger, the snow leopard, the jaguar, and the leopard.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the big cats in the Felidae family and a member of genus Panthera.
It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996, as populations in African range countries declined by about 43% since the early 1990s.
From this lion derived the later cave lion (Panthera leo spelaea), which appeared about 300,000 years ago.According to this study, West-Central African lions are more closely related to North African and Asian lions than to Southern or Eastern African lions.These findings might be explained by a late Pleistocene extinction event of lions in western and central Africa, and a subsequent recolonisation of these parts from Asia.As these characteristics vary highly between individuals, most of these forms were probably not true subspecies, especially as they were often based upon museum material that may have had "striking, but abnormal" morphological characteristics.While the subspecific status of the Asiatic lion (P. persica) is generally accepted, the systematic relationships among African lions are still not completely resolved.