Alex is a lion and the main protagonist of the Madagascar films. Alex is headstrong, the de facto leader of his friends and is best friends with Marty. He is used to the life of comfort in the zoo, but learns to adapt to the wild. He's smart, quick thinking and fast on his feet. He is a dancer by nature, often impressing others with his aerobatic feats. He does tend to be a little self absorbed, often not seeing the problems of others above his own. Alex enjoys his life at the zoo, and is surprised when hearing Marty's wish to leave and live in the wild. Alex, as the main attraction, is featured heavily on merchandise, and gives an "Alex the Lion" snow globe to Marty for his birthday. He also shows an infatuation with steak, though later remarks that sushi tastes better. As a cub, Alex was born on an African wildlife reserve and named Alakay. He was the son of the alpha lion, Zuba, and was constantly given lessons on hunting, though he displayed no interest in the activity. During one of the sessions, Alex was captured by poachers, but the crate he was contained in fell into a river and eventually floated to New York. He is found by humans and taken to the Central Park Zoo. In Madagascar, after Marty leaves in an effort to take a train to the wild, Alex, Gloria, and Melman pursue him and are shot with tranquilizer darts by humans. Animal-rights activists pressure the zoo into releasing them back into the wild, but on the ship to the preserve, Alex and his friends fall into the ocean. They wash ashore on Madagascar, and, while Marty is excited to be free, Alex wishes to go home. He grows very hungry after days of being unable to eat, not realizing that steak is animal flesh. Hunger drives Alex into a crazed state, and after almost killing Marty in hunger, in a moment of lucidity, he goes into self-imposed exile, barricading himself in the predator area of the island. Marty pursues him, unwilling to leave his friend, but is attacked by the fossa, the native predators of Madagascar. Alex works to defend Marty, and is later given sushi by the Penguins to satiate his hunger. In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Alex encounters his parents, Zuba and Florrie, who are overjoyed to see their son and in the end, becomes co-alpha lion alongside his father.