Lions are the only feline that lives in organized social groups within a specific territory. Usually the pride consists of related females and 2 to 3 males.The number of animals varies anywhere from 7 to 20 but could get as large as 40. Their favorite 'activity' is sleeping. They can spend up to 20 hours a day doing it. Most of the time male offspring are banished from the pride at the age of 2 or 3 years and then join a group of 'bachelors', or they become outsiders until one day they are strong enough to take over their own pride by fight.
In the past lions could be found almost anywhere in africa. Today, however, they only exist in protected areas like the 'Kruger National Park', 'Kenya's Amboseli Park' or the 'Serengeti National Park'. There they live in the savanna; open grassy plane with spares trees.
The prides' territory covers, depending on the supply of prey, anywhere from 15 to 100 square miles.
of the lions menu is comprised of only 7 species: Topi, Wildebeest, Thompson
Gazelle, Kongoni, Warthog and Buffalo . However, a Rhino or Elephant baby
has been known to fall prey as well. They also steal kills and carrion from
other predators like the cheeta, leopard or hyena.
A lion can eat up to 65 pounds of meat per meal. Normally they eat every 2 to 3 days.
But they can go without food for longer periods of time.
It's the lionesses wich povide the pride with nourishment. ' The King of the Beasts ' only hunts if there's no other way to get food. However, he is the first one to feed.
The greatest chances of success for a kill are when the femals hunt in a group and try to 'trap' the prey. Several of them lie in wait downwind of the quarry, while another one goes around to the upwind side, suddenly breaks cover, and chases the frightend victim towards the other lionesses waiting in ambush. However success is still only about 30% (compared to only 17% if they hunt alone).
The 'Lion Language', consists of different growl tones; from a
soft grumble to strong roar, which can be heard up to 5 miles away.
Calling is for several reasons: they advertise the boundary of their territory, locate other pride members, strengthen social bonds (roaring in chorus) or intimidate rivals in a fight.
The native africans even say lions are talking and say : ' he inchi ya nani - yangu, yangu, yangu ' or'
Whose land is this ? Mine, mine, mine ! "
Lions are mammals, which means that they carry their babies inside until they are born. Birth happens year 'round, but usually all lionesses breed at the same time. Gestation is 92 days and most of the time the litter size is 2 or 3 cubs. The Babies only weigh about 4 pounds, they are blind until the 3rd day, can walk by the 10th - 15th day and run by the first month. They are weaned by the 10th month but remain dependent on their mothers for another half year. They have blue eyes and grey/yellow fur with dark spots. Around the 3rd month the eyecolor changes to amber and the spots slowly disappear.
are one of the favorite hunting trophies. Even the Egyptian Pharaohs were
hunting them with bow and arrow. Amenhotep III killed over 100 lions. About
300 years ago the Mogul emperors of India hunted these animals with spears.
With the invention of the rifle killing them became so much easier that
the lions were greatly reduced in numbers. Today hunting is only allowed
with permission of the government. HOWEVER.... Poaching is worse than ever
Poaching in Africa has developed into an entire industry. Even 10 year old youngsters drop out of school to make a few cents by working for poachers.
Poaching will only stop if the africans can be offered an alternative industry with which they are able to make their money for living. They also need education, explanation in schools, rural health and family planning programs. But all this can only made be possible with money.
What you can do :
- support wildlife foundations with donations
- don't buy any objects made from endangered species !
It is the law of supply and demand. If you take away the demand, the supply will have no reason to continue, and with it's cessation the cessation of poaching will result.