I don't know about the rest of North America, but the Northest had big cats as recent as 5,000 ybp. Saber toothed cats died out here approx. 8-9,000 ybp. I've found a carving that depicts a saber toothed cat of some kind. That would mean that they were still here during the late Paleo/
early Archaic. There is also evidence for an extinct form of bison and also the short faced bear.
BTW- Germany had their own specie of lion, or rather west southern Europe. Check me on this, but I believe the UK also had big cats up until rather recent. Aamof, there are several places in Britain where they believe there are still big cats living. Noth America still has big cats but their not as big as a lion. New England still has Mountain lions, [Cougars} as does West Virginia and several other states in that region. Florida has the Florida Panther. These aren't as big as an African lion, the panther averages 100-150 lbs, still a good sized animal. Note- "the authorities" state that there are less than 200 breeding animals in Florida and Georgia. Better informed sources place breeding animals at 1000 plus.[Sources such as the Florida Highway Patrol and local Fish and Wildlife officers]
Edited by red clay - 08-Jul-2011 at 15:16