Historically, lions have been given as diplomatic gifts by various leaders and nations. Here are a few examples:
One tale tells of how an Egyptian pharaoh, Amenhotep III, sent an envoy to the Hittite Empire with a lion cub in the diplomatic party. The cub was sent as a sign of goodwill and friendly relations between the two nations, and the Hittites accepted it as a sign of peace. The cub ultimately grew and became a beloved pet of the Hittite king, and was even featured in many of the king’s sculptures and frescoes.
Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was gifted a lion by King Juba II of Numidia in 46 BC.
In the 13th century, the Sultan of Egypt sent a lion to King Louis IX of France as a diplomatic gift.
In the 16th century, the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great gifted a lion to the King of Portugal.
In the 19th century, the Sultan of Zanzibar gifted a lion to Queen Victoria of England. Giving lions as a diplomatic gift is not practised in modern diplomacy.