Portrait of "His Majesty, King of the Beasts", painted using the dry-brush oil technique.
This magnificent male Asiatic lion is named Iblis. He lives at Chester Zoo in the UK and was painted from a photo taken by the talented Carl Lloyd.
The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) is a subspecies of the lion now found only in India. Asiatic Lions once ranged from the Mediterranean to India, covering most of West Asia where it was also known as the Persian Lion.
The Asiatic Lion grows to a height of approximately 90cm, with their length ranging from 200-280cm. Their tails grow to an additional length of 60-90cm. Lions can weigh in at between 200-275kg and numbers range between 250-300.
Compared to its African counterpart, the males of the Indian lion have a scantier mane and a characteristic skin fold at the belly. In fact you can always tell the difference between an African male lion and Asiatic male lion because their ears are always visible, whereas on an African lion they are always hidden by the mane.
Asiatic lions are also slightly smaller than their African cousins, although the largest Asiatic lion on record was an imposing 2.9 m in length. Though they have a less well developed mane, Asiatic lions have thicker elbow tufts and a longer tail tuft.