Drawing of a man from 100 AD wearing a mask of an extinct European Lion by Jenny Kendler
The European Lion
From the Extinction Portraits series
Graphite on paper in painted frame
11 x 9 in., framed

Panthera leo europaea
Extinct 100 A.D.

Many people aren't aware wild lions once lived all over Europe. The lesson here is that, unfortunately, extinction is nothing new. The European Lion became extinct around 100 A.D. due to excessive hunting by the Romans, Greeks and Macedonians. The lions were often captured for Roman arenas where they were killed for sport, one of the main forms of 'entertainment' in that Roman Empire. After the extinction of the European Lion, Romans began importing lions from North Africa and the Middle East. Due to human activities, today's populations of lions are also in severe decline.