Notes About African Lions

Lions live in groups called “prides.” Related females and  young lions make up the majority of the pride.  Lions within a pride conregate and spend time touching, head rubbing, licking and purring.

An adult male  joins a pride for a few years. The male lions are territorial. Mother lions guard or hide their cubs because the dominant male often is a danger to male cubs.

Lions usually hunt  antelope, zebra, warthogs or wildebeest. Sometimes a lion may catch smaller animals. A pride may attack buffalo, rhinos, hippos, or even elephants if food is scarce.

Females most of the hunting. They are mainly nocturnal and work in teams to herd, stalk and ambush prey. Lions mostly hunt in savannas, open woodlands and scrub country, but they may search out water-holes or streams in jungles.

A Lioness in a tree

A Lioness in a tree. Photo 2013   By Jim Tennessen

Lionesses climb trees for rest, surveillance or safety. They are strong enough to carry heavy prey up trees away from jackals, hyenas, or crocodiles.

Cubs, usually three or four, remain with their mother for about two years. They begin hunting at about 11 months. Young cubs would be eaten by crocodiles, hyenas, leopards, or jackals if unprotected by their mothers.

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