Panthera Leo Alatus most commonly referred to as the winged lion is a recently discovered species found only near the coastal shores of Cyprus. As a member of the Felidae family and a member of the genus Panther it is considered the largest living cat species, even eclipsing the tiger. The winged lion’s large distinctive wings and greater size differentiate it from its close relative the Lion.
The species was first spotted on the southern beaches of Cyprus in 1997 but since then, there have been sightings of the winged lion flying in the skies of Europe and the Middle East. Despite the winged lion’s flying excursions, the only currently known habitat of the species remains to be Cypress where the species was first discovered. The population was very small when first discovered and has remained so until now due primarily to the species naturally low birth rate. It has been listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List since it was first discovered in 1997.
There have been multiple failed attempts to raise and breed the winged lion in captivity because of its incredible strength, size, aggressive nature, and instinctive need for open sky make. The winged lion has shown a unique dependency on the ocean and open sky found on the coasts of Cyprus. Scientists and Animal Behaviorists are not sure why the species is so instinctively attached to the beaches of Cyrus as opposed to other coastal regions, but it seems to be a genetic propensity within the species. The Winged Lion is an apex predator both on the ground and in the skies. Like lions the females are smaller in size and tend to cooperate in groups when hunting for large prey. The males tend to only actively hunt when searching for a mate or territory.