The African lion is a member of the cat family

  • The African lion is a member of the cat family believed to the most social. This is due to its social structure as well as its coordination in its pride. The lion can live up to 14 years. It is often known as the king of the jungle, and it derives this title from the role it plays in its pride. However, the actual king of the jungle is the tiger as the lion is not found in the jungle. It is found in the savannah grasslands in Africa.

    A unique characteristic that differentiates lions from other big cats is that of having the thick mane around its neck and head. This is the characteristic that also distinguishes between a lion and a lioness. It is considered that the darker the mane, the more attractive it is from the rest of the lions.

    A lion lives in social structures known as a pride. A pride can comprise up to about 15 lions both female and male. The lions are tasked with protecting the territory of the pride while the lionesses’ responsibility is to hunt. However, in cases of prey that is requires much effort such as a full grown buffalo, the lion can join the hunt as an extra muscle to succumb the victim. They are very tactical when it comes to their hunting practices as each lioness has its role. Specifications such as large muscles, strong jaws, speed and strong canines act as an added advantage while hunting.

    A lion has a wide variety of prey like the zebras, gazelles, giraffes and wild beasts. Generally, they can eat any animal in the wild. In times of famine, they can also be scavengers as they can steal meat from smaller cats such as the cheetah.

    A lioness can have a litter of up to six cubs but the common number is two or three, and the weaning takes places at the age of eight months. When male lions grow to adolescent, the father tends to chase them away to eliminate the possibility of being overthrown by the young male.

    Despite being the most social cats, when a lion takes over a pride, it tends to kill the cubs of the previously dominant male. This is to guarantee its future in the pride will not be challenged. Another interesting fact about a lion is that its roar can travel up to five miles. The roar is often used to gauge the strength of the lion before one lion challenges another.

    Lions are very important in the ecosystem as they maintain the balance of animals in the wild. However, in recent years, the number of lions has decreased to about 20000. It is essential for us to protect the lions. On the 10th of August, the day is set to raise awareness of the lions.

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