African Lion

Prides are comprised mostly of females and their young, with one or more adult males who defend the pride. The dominant males will protect the pride from any independent younger males that come their way. Female cubs can stay with the pride through their sexual maturity and afterwards if they choose to, but male cubs must leave the pride by the time they are 3 years old, two years before they reach sexual maturity. Lions are the only cat to exhibit marked differences between males and females. Females hunt proportionately more often than males do, and often will join together as a team to bring down larger prey. Each lion can consume 40 lbs. of meat from each kill (average is two kills per week).

African Lion

Panthera leo

Distribution: Most environments across sub-Saharan Africa except for tropical rainforests and the interior of the Sahara desert.

Diet in the Wild: Usually wildebeest, antelope and zebra, but lions are opportunistic, also preying on rhinoceros and small rodents or scavenging the kills of other African predators.

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Fortified feline diet and deer bones

IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable, population decreasing

Threats: Conflict with farmers protecting livestock, conflict with villages and towns, habitat fragmentation and loss and hunting for sport or for use in traditional medicines.

Interesting Facts:

Lions will drink water when it’s available, but are able to survive off the moisture they absorb from prey, and from eating plants such as citron melon.

Some lions will spend up to 21 hours of the day resting.

Lions are not necessarily nocturnal. Lions will vary their schedules based on season, habitat and even nearby human activity.

Ayotunde

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