What is the National Animal of Morocco?

National Animal of Morocco

Barbary Lion – Morocco national animal

The Barbary lion is the national animal of Morocco. The other names for Barbary lion are Panthera leo leo, the Atlas Lion and the Nubian Lion. The Barbary lion is a lion subspecies that is native to the Atlas Mountains region located in the Maghreb of northern Africa. It is also the national symbol of the Berbers and was used by the Berbers as a battle standard.

Importance of Barbary Lion in Morocco

The Barbary lion is an important symbol for Morocco, as well as other North African countries such as Algeria and Tunisia. It has been used as a symbol for many things including coins and banknotes, and it appears on various national emblems. The Barbary lion is also considered to be an endangered species and its conservation efforts are ongoing worldwide.

Scientific Classification

Barbary Lion FactsFamily: Felidae
Order: Carnivora
Genus: Panthera
Kingdom: Animalia


Physical Description

The Barbary lion has a short, tawny coat with dark brown mane and black tufted ears. Males can weigh up to 272kg (600lb). Females are smaller, weighing around 140kg (310lb) on average. They have long tails with dark brown tufts along their length. These tufts are used to make a loud flicking sound when they are agitated or threatened.

Habitat of Morocco national Animal

Barbary lions live in rocky areas with caves and gorges that provide shelter and water sources for them. They spend most of the day sleeping in caves or holes where they cannot be seen by predators such as leopards, hyenas and wolves. At night they come out to hunt for prey such as ibexes and gazelles which they kill by strangulation after catching them unawares from above.

Facts about Barbary Lion

  1. Barbary Lion is the official national symbol and animal of Morocco.
  2. The Barbary lion is considered a sub-species of Panthera leo along with other lions found in Asia, India and South America.
  3. They were the largest of all lions in the world, with males weighing up to 300kg.
  4. They are also known as Atlas lions, or Nubian lions, after their historical range along the North African coast.
  5. Although the last wild Barbary lion died 100 years ago, there are still around 300 captive-bred lions being kept at zoos around the world today (2019).
  6. They lived on open grasslands, preferring rocky areas where they could hide from predators
  7. The Barbary lion ranged across the Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert.
  8. The male Barbary Lion can weigh up to 350 pounds (159 kg), while females weigh up to 275 pounds (125 kg).
  9. Diet: The diet of a Barbary lion included deer, goats and wild sheep. They were also known for stealing domestic animals from villagers.
  10. Weight: A male Barbary lion weighed between 250-300 pounds (113-136 kg) while females weighed around 220 pounds (100 kg).
  11. Speed: The Barbary lion was very fast and could run up to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h).
  12. Lifespan: The lifespan of a Barbary lion was 20 years in the wild but they had been known to live for up to 30 years in captivity.

Why is Barbary Lion the national animal of Morocco?

There are few reasons to choose Barbary Lion the national animal of Morocco which are:
  • Barbary lion is a symbol of strength, courage and pride. The Barbary lion is also the national emblem of Morocco and it’s also the only wild cat species to be found in Northern Africa.
  • It is an endemic animal in Morocco (Morocco has the largest population of this species)
  • The lion symbolizes courage and pride, similar to what Moroccans have when facing their enemies.
  • The lion is a symbol of power and nobility, which is what Morocco wants its people to be like
  • Due to all these facts, Barbary officially become the Morocco national animal & emblem of the country.