The lions of London

The lion is the symbol of the King of England, and for the first time since the early 13th century, the city will be without the king of the beasts. The lack of lions will occur due to a new exhibit being built at the London Zoo, causing its three residents to be relocated until 2016. The BBC Magazine Monitor has a feature about the history of the London lions.

"You can't prove there's always been a lion at the Tower of London but the aim was always to have a lion," says Sally Dixon-Smith, curator of collections at the Tower of London. King John began the Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London in 1210, and it was long the home of the roaring beasts.