All You Need to Know About the African Lion
Meet the mighty king of the jungle, the African lion. These animals are the only big cats which live in groups called prides. Each pride contains up to three males, a dozen females and their cubs.
Female cubs tend to stay within the pride as they grow older, but the males eventually leave and establish their own prides when they’re ready.
10 to 14 Years
Up to 1.10 metres
120 to 250 kg
zebras, giraffes, cape buffalo, wildebeest
Lions are covered in coats of yellow-gold, with large manes encircling the male lions’ heads. These manes range from blond, reddish-brown or black and is determined by their age, hormones and genetics.
Male lions can grow to a length of up to 3 metres and reach a tale length of 60 to 90 centimetres. An adult male lion can weigh between 150 to 250 kg where females reach a weight of 180 kg. Females are slightly smaller, reaching a length up to 2.7 metres.
There are a few subspecies of the African lion, which you can explore below:
(Panthera leo leo)
Also known as the North African lion. These lions used to be found in parts of Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia but are extinct due to hunting. The last known Barbary lion was killed in 1920.
(Panthera leo senegalensis)
Also known as the West African lion inhabits Central African Republic to Senegal in western Africa. They are the smallest among the sub-Saharan African lions.
(Panthera leo bleyenberghi)
(Panthera leo nubica)
The Masai lion, also known as the East African lion, inhabits East African countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique. These lions have longer legs than the other subspecies of lion.
(Panthera leo krugeri)
The Transvaal lions, also known as the Southeast African lion, can be found in southern parts of Africa such as the Kruger National Park. Most male lions have a well-developed, black mane.
Hunting is the main cause for the decline of the African lion species.
Lion Pride & Hunting
While males defend the pride’s territory, it is the female lions which is the pride’s primary hunters. They often work as a team to hunt large animals on the open grasslands. The teamwork especially comes in handy when the prey is faster than the lions.
The male lions will mark their territory with their urine, roar threateningly and chase off the animals which dare set foot in their area.
After the hunt, the lions quarrel over the food they must share, with cubs receiving their share last. Young lions only start hunting when they’re about a year old.