Have you been on an African safari and seen a lion in the wild? Are you a cat lover? Did you know that lions, to some degree have the same behavioral characteristics as your house cat? Take for example they both like to rub up against something i.e. cats like to rub up against human’s legs and lions rub their heads against another lion when a subordinate lion comes upon a dominant lion.


Lion’s in their natural habitat

King of the Jungle

The lion has always been referred to the ‘King of the Jungle’, ever stopped to wonder why? Most would say because of they are ferocious predators, however this is not the case: they are protectors, loving and caring animals that have been a symbol of strength, power and ferocity. The saying of ‘King of the Jungle’ is actually incorrect…if you study lions you would see that they actually live in grasslands and plains, not in a jungle. The confusion probably comes with the incorrect association between Africa and jungles.

Lions have also been seen as heroic and in some cases even protectors of humans. A perfect example would be when a 12-year-old Ethiopian girl was abducted and forced into marriage in 2005 however she managed to run away and a week later she was found by police in the forest. Three lions stood guard and protected her until she felt at ease and went back home.


1. African lions are the most social of all big cats and live together in groups or “prides – usually 15 lions strong and in some case up to 40.

2. A lion’s roar can be heard from as far as 8 kilometers (5 miles) away. Their roar helps them find other lions as well as to proclaim their territory. A pride’s territory may include up to 260 square kilometers (100 square miles).

3. Female lions do most of the hunting, whilst the males defend the pride’s territory. The male lion always eats first.

4. These majestic cats are threatened by habitat loss and had been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

5. The lion was once found throughout Africa, Asia and Europe but now exists only in Africa with one exception. The last remaining Asiatic lions are found in Sasan-Gir National Park in India, which was primarily created to protect the species. Currently, there are approximately 350-400 lions in the park.

6. A lion can run for short distances at 80 Kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour) and leap as far as 11 meters (36 feet).

7. In order to gauge a male lion’s age is in the darkness of his mane – the darker the mane, the older the lion. Female lions are attracted to bigger and more prominent manes.


8. A lion’s heels don’t touch the ground when it walks.

9. A lion may sleep up to 20 hours a day.

10. Establishing a “family scent” is important in preventing and diffusing aggression among lions in the group. All members of a pride must bear the family scent in order to steer clear of trouble.

11. A male lion weighs about 227 kilograms (500 pounds) and grows to 2.4 meters (8 feet) in length. It sounds impressive, but tigers are actually larger, reaching 386 kilograms (850 pounds) and 3.35 meters (11 feet) long.

12. Baby lions may be referred to as cubs, whelps, or lionets. A “whelp” actually refers to any young member of a carnivorous species, while “lionet” means “small lion” in Middle French.

13. Female lions, sisters, live together for life. Their female cubs also stay with the pride, even after they’re grown, but male cubs must venture out on their own once they reach maturity.

14. There are only about 34,000 lions left in Africa, which is about half the number that existed 30 years ago.


15. Lions are associated with pride, courage, and strength, making them a perfect national symbol. Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Singapore all regard the lion as their national symbol.

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