African lions are part of the big cat family and best depicted as the “king of the jungle”. These lovely felines call Africa their home. A few places that they make their presence known are in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa and other sub-Saharan parts of Africa.
These majestic lions live in prides and are the only cat family that live in groups. Prides are family units and are often made up of roughly 3 males, 12 females, and their young. All the lionesses living in the pride are related, and female cubs usually stay with the group as they become older. The young males, however, eventually leave and then establish a pride of their own by taking over another male's pride.
The number of African lions in the wild is declining. They are now thought to be at risk of extinction. Over the last 10 years, their numbers have gone down by 30%. Lion's face many threats such as Habitat conservation, reduction in prey, human-wildlife conflict and its main threat is organised hunts. In the Kruger National Park alone there are roughly 1600 lions. The Kruger hosts the ‘Kruger Lion Program'. This program then surveys different aspects regarding the lions, such as their eating habits.
If you are ever lucky enough to see the ‘Lion King', you will notice that he is far larger than the lionesses. He has a striking mane of hair that frames his face, this is to impress his ‘Nala' (the queen lion from “The Lion King”) and to appear more intimidating to other males. The manes other purpose is to protect the ‘lion king's' neck during fights.
Although the lionesses are smaller, they are fierce and are the primary hunters in the pride. All the lionesses work as a team to prey upon antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and other animals of the grasslands. Most of these animals are faster than the lionesses, so teamwork pays off! Lionesses are also caring mothers and will even take care of a neglected cub by allowing him/her to suckle and giving them a fair chance to survive.
Lions have always been celebrated throughout history for their courage and strength and are still valued and seen as one of Africa's greatest animals. The ancient Egyptians even admired lions as their war divinities due strength, power and fierceness, the sphinxes are just one of many of their mythical depictions of the lion within their culture.
Let More & More Africa help you witness these magnificent creatures fierceness up-close.