Facts about the Lion – (Panthera leo)
Lions are the largest of African carnivores. They are also the only social cats in the bushveld. By cooperating in prides, lions are able to kill bigger animals or improve the chance of a succesful kill where there is little cover. They are also able to improve the survival of their young
Uniquely for cats, Lions live and hunt in groups, called prides. They have a highly evolved social structure in the pride, which consists of several related females and their cubs, and two or three territorial males, usually brothers.
Lions ware extremely lethargic for the majority of their lives, spending about 20 hours a day resting. This is necessary to recuperate from the intense periods they spend patrolling and huntung. Although lions may seem comatose at times, they are often alert and can be spurred to action in seconds.
Lions have black tips to their tails and black behind their ears. These are ´follow me´signs. The black tails is at exactly the right height for a cub to follow a female through tall grass. Cats express their moods with their tails and ears and having these areas highlighted is valuable for communication and coordination during hunts. While the black is obvious from behind, from the front the animal remains completely camouflage.
Male: 1,2 (at shoulder), Female: 1,1m (at shoulder)
Male: 90kg (up to 260kg); Female: 130kg
Male attains maximum weight at 7 years,
Females at 5-6 years (declines with age)
10-14 years (maximum 18 years); Females live longer,
males killed or die at about 10 years old
Habitat & Distribution :
Wide tolerance, even penetrate into deserts along dry
river courses. Require barest to cover stalk, and
adequate medium to large-sized prey animals
Gestation # of young :
110 days (3,5 months) 1-6 young (average 3)
Mammals from mice to buffalo (even elephants),
birds up to size ostrich, reptiles, insects, fish and carrion.
Common prey species: giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala,
waterbuck, warthog and kudu
Hyenas and man; other carnivores and pythons take cubs