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African lion

All You Need to Know About the African Lion

African lion | cheetah post

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.

Quick Facts

Average Lifespan

10 to 14 Years

Size

Up to 1.10 metres

Weight

120 to 250 kg

Main Prey

zebras, giraffes, cape buffalo, wildebeest

Physical Characteristics

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.

Subspecies

There are a few subspecies of the African lion, which you can explore below:

Barbary Lion
(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.

Senegal Lion
(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.

Katanga Lion
(Panthera leo bleyenberghi)

The Katanga lion is also known as the Southwest African lion. They are found in southwestern Africa in Angola, Namibia, western Zimbabwe and Zambia, Zaire, and northern Botswana. They are one of the largest lions of all the lion species.

Masai Lion
(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.

Transvaal 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. 

Interested in Seeing the African Lion in its Natural Habitat?

Want to see a pride of lion going about their day in the wild? Africa Travel Co offers many tours for travelers to experience seeing the king of the jungle in its home. Visit www.africatravelco.com or simply send an email to cpt@africatravelco.com to book your tour with us today.

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