In the male of this variety, which has been more frequently brought to Europe than any other, the mane attains as much developement and covers the under parts of the body as extensively as in the Lion of Eastern Asia, whom, however, at the adult age, he exceeds considerably in size. The Lioness has little to distinguish her from the other breeds.
Endowed with such tremendous powers it is no wonder that this formidable animal is regarded with terror by the inhabitants of the countries which he infests. He seldom, however, attacks the human race; although he does not appear to shun it with any peculiar dread. His onset is always made from behind, and in the same treacherous manner as that of all his tribe; of a herd of animals or of a band of men passing within his reach, he uniformly singles out the last as the object of his fatal bound. When he has made choice of his victim he springs upon its neck, and, placing one of his paws upon the back of its head while he seizes its muzzle with the other, twists its head round with a sudden jerk, which dislocates its spine and deprives it instantaneously of life and motion. His favourite game appears to be the larger quadrupeds, such as oxen, horses, sheep, and dogs, whom he attacks indiscriminately and almost always successfully, when urged by the powerful cravings of his maw. At other times he is indolent and cowardly, secretes himself in caverns, skulks in the depths of the forest, and is scared by the most trifling causes.