A male lion and two lionesses

Lions are part of a yearly exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. They are found in the Hall of African Mammals.


The Lion is one of the five big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia (where an endangered remnant population resides in Gir Forest National Park in India) while other types of lions have disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a major population decline in its African range of 30–50% per two decades during the second half of the 20th century. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Within Africa, the West African lion population is particularly endangered.


Night at the Museum

The manual that Cecil Fredericks left of Larry Daley has a second instruction that states "Lock up the Lions or they will eat you."

As Larry enters the Hall of African Mammals, 3 lions (a male and 2 female lionesses) and some other African mammals (along with an ostrich and a snake) began observing him. Getting chased by several of the animals, especially the lions, Larry locks up the gate and the male lion tries to break out. After a few seconds, it roared and gave up. After Dexter the monkey ripped up the manual, the lions roared again, preventing Larry from getting the pieces and completing the rest of the instructions.

On the second night, the African animals (including the lions) stampeded down the stairs, distracting Attila and the Huns.

The lions are also seen attacked by some of the exhibits during a fight.

They and the other animals are seen marching back to the museum.