photo of lion in the wild

Barbary Lions

Museum records identify the lions in our famous Lion Attacking a Dromedary diorama as members of the Barbary lion subspecies.

Now extinct in the wild, these lions once inhabited much of North Africa. Years of hunting by humans, deforestation, and reduced food sources dwindled their numbers.

Scientists in our Section of Mammals are doing DNA testing in an attempt to confirm that the lions are Barbary.

(Photo by Josh Franzos)

Ready to sprawl out on the beach this season? You’re in good company! 

This harp seal is hauled out on the beach at Race Point, near Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. If you see any seals or sea lions on your beach trips this spring and summer, be sure to give them plenty of space. 

While it may seem harmless to snap a quick seal selfie while you’re on the beach with our animal friends, approaching wild animals can cause significant harm to both you and them. Keep your eye out and help keep animals healthy by giving them plenty of room. They deserve relaxing days on the beach too! 

(Photo: Peter Flood)

“Your Lioness”

When a man’s pride and ego is stripped by the world she is there to comfort and encourage to move on. There is no Lion without the Lioness.

Instagram: @gabetomoiaga

South Africa is indeed one of the best places to explore wildlife and get close to lions, rhinos, elephant, buffalos and other kinds of animals.

Almost 3 weeks ago I was able to have a close encounter with some wild animals. I never thought I would be able to experience such an amazing thing. This was just one of those dreams which I never imagined could come true one day. I know it has been a few weeks since that day but everything still feels as if it was just yesterday. This was indeed a once in a lifetime experience.

I flew to Johannesburg with my aunt and we had planned on visiting Pilanesberg National Park on our second day there. We woke up as early as 5am since we will be picked up at out hotel by 7am. We rode an open jeepney which was thrilling yet nerve-racking at the same time. If you’re gonna ask how was it like to be there or how my experience was… I got one word for you: Amazing. Absolutely amazing! I couldn’t get enough of it. I wanted to take lots of photos but at the same time just enjoy watching those beautiful creatures in their natural habitat. It was fascinating. Lion King feels all over!

Pilanesberg National Park is one of the places where you could find what they called “The Big Five”. We were lucky enough to see four of them. Lions, rhinos, buffalos and elephant. Leopards are hard to find so we were not able to see that one.

There were other animals that I have never seen before and I am not familiar with that we were able to see. We got to see some impalas, wild beest, giraffe, zebras and some hippos. We got to see a pride of lions and it was the most amazing thing. We didn’t get to take good photos of it though as they were hiding in the bushes and there were other jeepneys and cars along the way. But still, you don’t get to see that everyday and I’m so lucky to be able to witness such thing.

I am impressed by our guide as his eyes were so sharp. He could easily spot where the animals are even though they were down below the mountains or miles away from us. We got to see an elephant from afar. The guide says it would take the elephant around 45 mins to reach the road.

I guess one of the highlights of my safari trip was when we saw tons of buffalos migrating and crossing from east to west. The guide said that the last time he was able to see them was around June of last year. Since it was almost winter time there, animals are already migrating. It was one of the most stunning things I have ever seen.

Words aren’t enough to describe this trip and how I truly felt about it. I’m so thankful to my aunt for letting me experience these kind of things. I truly believe that nothing can ever beat this trip. You just can’t top it off.