The Lion King remake has revived interest in a magnificent beast that urgently needs protection, writes Brian Jackman

Why have lions held the world in thrall since the dawn of history?

As long ago as the seventh century BC, the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal had his royal palace at Nineveh decorated with magnificent bas-reliefs of lion-hunting scenes. In Ancient Rome, the walls of the Colosseum resonated to the roars of lions as gladiators fought to the death with the king of beasts.

Closer to our own time, Sir Edwin Landseer's four bronze lions were set to guard the statue of Nelson

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The roar facts