Catch Our Museum Cats

Our first floor African Mammal Hall has two new wild residents, a pair of lionesses, queens of the Tanzanian jungle.

NHMLA taxidermist Tim Bovard with a pair of lionesses nuzzling in the African Mammal Hall.

Our first floor African Mammal Hall has two new wild residents, a pair of lionesses, queens of the Tanzanian jungle. Visitors will see the taxidermy cats, sculpted by NHM taxidermist Tim Bovard, nuzzling in front of them. That adorable behavior has a purpose — it helps lions establish, maintain, and strengthen social bonds. Unlike tigers, cheetahs, leopards, and all other big cats, which live and hunt alone, lions live in groups of about 16 members. Female lions and their cubs are the core group because they stay with the pride they were born into for their entire lives. Male lions are usually only with a pride for a period of months to years. The diorama features one, standing regally to one side, sporting a dark mane. Come see how the museum is the place for all kinds of enjoyable family gatherings.

See the making of the lion diorama in NHM's African Mammal Hall

What are some differences between African lions and the mountain lions that roam Griffith Park, including L.A.'s most famous feline, P-22? NHM Wildlife Biologist, Miguel Ordeñana, has the answers!