A National Geographic explorer spotted the adult male on a recent expedition to Bale Mountains National Park.

Most African lions live in the classic savannah habitat of sub-Saharan Africa, but there are a few populations scattered in other countries, including the mountains of Ethiopia.

Since 1980, global lion populations are thought to have declined by up to 75 percent, and there may be fewer than 20,000 of the big cats remaining in the wild. The lion is considered vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Ethiopia’s lions, in particular, are intriguing due to their remoteness.

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