The Cape lion was the second largest and heaviest of the lion subspecies: a fully grown male could weigh 500 pounds (230 kg) and reach 10 feet (3.0 m) in length. This lion is distinguished by his large size and his thick black mane with a tawny fringe around the face. The tips of the ears were also black.
Cape lions preferred to hunt large ungulates including antelopes, but also zebras, giraffes and buffaloes. They would also kill donkeys and cattle belonging to the European settlers.
Cape "black-maned" lions ranged along the Cape of Africa on the southern tip of the continent. The Cape lion was not the only subspecies living in South Africa, and its exact range is unclear.