Lions are a feline species and the second-biggest type of big cat. The lions that appear in Primeval are called Transvaal lions, also known as southeast African lions.


The Transvaal lion, known by its scientific name Panthera leo krugeri, is a subspecies of lion that is found in the southeast of Africa in the Transvaal region. It is the most common subspecies of lion found, and by far the most well-known. With the exception of the Tsavo lion, the males in this subspecies bear a thick mane that is used for intimidation, and protection.

The Transvaal lion is one of the larger subspecies of lions, with males attaining weights of 330 to 550 pounds, and females reaching weights of up to 260 to 400 pounds. On average, the male Transvaal lion measures just less than 8.5 feet, though exceptional specimens have attained lengths of up to 10 feet.

Transvaal lions, like most lions are highly social, living in family groups called prides. Female lions, called the lioness, do most of the hunting in a coordinated group effort, while the males defend the territory, and protect the pride from both external and internal threats. Favorite prey items among this subspecies of lions include, wildebeest, zebras, Cape buffalo, warthogs, and in rare instances juvenile giraffe.

In Primeval

Episode 1.6

A group of Transvaal Lions lived together in an enclosure in Wellington Zoo. The lions appeared when a pair of Future Predators came through an anomaly from the Permian era.

While the rest of the group slumbered, a lone male lion was actively walking around in its enclosure, peacefully. Soon, the female Future Predator arrived at the zoo, and began stalking the lion . The lion sensed the presence of the creature, but could not see it. This provoked the male lion to pounce out at its fence, aggressively. However, this did little to intimidate the Future Predator, which, using its reflexes and agility, gained access to the top of the pen. This caught the oblivious lion off guard, with the lions defense down, the Future Predator gained the opportunity to ambush it's target by using its claws to tear open the top of the enclosure. Just as the lion suddenly realized where the Future Predator was, the Future Predator attacked by diving through the pen and leaping onto the lion.

The Future Predator managed to kill and drag the lion’s body from the pen without being caught. It is presumed that it dragged the lion’s body through the top fence of the lion enclosure from which the Future Predator had gained access, (despite the lion weighing over 500 pounds) as there were no other access points in which the Future Predator could have done so.

Though the lion was killed off-screen, it is implied to have fought back against the Predator, despite having little or hardly no chance to defend itself due to it being ambushed from above, and presumably stunned by the attack. A blood sample was later recovered by Connor Temple. It contained blood from both the Future Predator and the lion, though the majority came from the lion. However, when the Future Predators' lair was discovered, three dead bodies were found, being stored for the infant Future Predators. The lion's corpse was not shown, though being the first victim it was more than likely already fed on by the infant Future Predators prior to their discovery.

Episode 2.3

Lion Costume

Peter Campbell dressed up as a Lion. (Episode 2.3)

Peter Campbell, manager of Blue Sky Park, dressed up as a Lion as mascot for the park when Connor pulled a tranquiliser gun on him, mistaking him for a Smilodon.

Fire and Water

A Eustreptospondylus kills rangers and animals in a South African Safari Park. It attacks Danny, Lester, and Sophie, who were investigating the disappearances, when a pride of Lions distract it, injuring it. The creature escapes, being followed by the lions. Two lions are killed, while two survive. As they were in South Africa, it is likely these Lions were Transvaal Lions.

Episode 4.2

When a Gorgonopsid appeared in Greenwich, it was believed to be a mutant Lion.

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on Lion!