The East African lion (Panthera leo melanochaita) is a lion population in East Africa. In this part of Africa, lions occur in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, but are regionally extinct in Djibouti, Egyptand Eritrea. Lion populations in East African range countries declined since the turn of the century.
Formerly, the East African lion was recognized as several distinct subspecies with the scientific names, such as Panthera leo massaica, P. l. hollisteri and P. l. nyanzae. They were known as Masai lion, Somali lion, Abyssinian lion and Uganda lion, depending on the area where individuals had been captured for zoological collections. In 2016, IUCN Red List assessors had subsumed all African lion populations to Panthera leo leo. The subspecificstatus of lions in the Horn of Africa has not yet been fully resolved.