African Lion

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Scientific Name: Panthera leo


African Lions are one of the African Big Five (the others being Elephant, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Rhino).

They live in different social structures: most common is living in family groups, called prides. The biggest prides consist of up to 9 males, up to around 21  related adult famales and their offspring.

Not all lions live in prides though, there are bachelor groups of few individuals of the same sex and lions who live solitary, too.

All lions are able to hunt prey and defend their territory, in prides the jobs are often split: the females take care of most of the hunting, while the males are protecting the pride against intrudors.

Lions are sexually dimorphic, which means you can easily distinguish adult males and females. The most striking feature of the males is their mane, which is there to protect their necks in fights with rivals.

To save energy, a lion spends up to 20 hours per day resting.

Lions can run up to 50 mph for short distances.

A lion roar can be heard up to 5 miles away (8 Km).


As for most animals, habitat loss is a very severe problem for the lions. As soon as they occur in their natural habitat outside of conservation areas, they are considered a threat and killed by people who are afraid of them. A very important lecture we can lear when looking at these lions is that all creatures on earth need their space: we humans should not occupy all territories and build houses everywhere but have to leave some space and untouched areas for wild animals, where they can live undisturbed.   

What can you do to help save these animals?

Many lions are bred in Africa for so calles "canned hunting", which mean the lions are farmed. A typical farmed lion would be taken away from its mother as a baby to be used in foto shoots with paying guests until with age this becomes too dangerous. Then the lion will be  released to an area where trophy hunters are paying for shooting it. If you want to protect this species never book an experience like this, even if it is so tempting to get a cute picture with a baby lion on your lap!





10-15 years in wild


Grasslands, open woodlands, and brush habitat in sub-saharan Africa


Carnivore Most lions drink water daily if available but can go for 4 or 5 days without water.


6.5 ft


Weight: Females 122-180 kilograms Males 150-260 kilograms


Females - 1.4 to 1.7 meters (4.6 to 5.7 feet) Males - 1.7 to 2.5 meters (5.6 to 8.3 feet)

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