Dire lions have a nasty habit of turning up in areas one wouldn’t expect them—like caves and northern climes. And if players don’t think regular lions are a threat, they will once you force them to make hard decisions about wearing metal armor in the heat of the savannah.
A common spectacle in Imperial gladiatorial arenas pits lions against a goblin and a human. The human gets a cestus. The goblin gets a short sword. The lions, typically, get fed.
A wyvern that has been terrorizing badlands thorps is killed. Unfortunately, its presence was all that kept the cave lion populations down, and a pride soon moves in, taking more livestock and lives than the wyvern did.
The head of the local thieves’ guild has a thing for exotic cats. But his lions escape, running rampant through the streets of Hemley on Market Day.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 193