The world"s most social felines, lions roam the savannas and also grasslands of the afri continent, hunting cooperatively and raiptcouncil.netng cubs in prides. Online tourists can catch a glimpse of the Smithsonian"s nationwide Zoo"s lions top top the Lion Cam. 


Female lions raise the cubs and are likewise the primary hunters.Without your coats, lion and also tiger bodies are so comparable that only profesptcouncil.netonals can tell them apart.

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the very least ConcernNear ThreatenedVulnerableEndangeredCritically EndangeredExtinct in the WildExtinctData DeficientNot evaluate

Lions have strong, compact bodies and powerful forelegs, teeth and jaws for pulling down and killing prey. Their coats are yellow-gold, and adult males have actually shaggy manes that range in color from blond to reddish-brown come black. The length and also color the a lion"s mane is likely figured out by age, genetics and also hormones. Young lions have light spotting on your coats the disappears together they grow.

Without your coats, lion and also tiger bodies are so comparable that only profesptcouncil.netonals can tell lock apart.


Lions stand between 3.5 and 4 feet (1 and also 1.2 meters) tall at the shoulder. Males grow to lengths the 10 feet (3 meters) and also have a 2 come 3 foot (60 to 91 centimeter) tail. They weigh from 330 to 550 pounds (150 to 250 kilograms). Contempt smaller, females flourish to lengths of 9 feet (2.7 meters) and also weigh in between 265 and also 395 pounds.


Lions inhabit a wide range of habitats, from open up plains to special brush and also dry mandrel forest. Other than for a small population of the Indian lion subspecies that continues to be in the Gir woodland of northwest India, lions currently live just in Africa, native the Sahara"s southerly fringe to north South Africa.  They are misptcouncil.netng from equatorial areas dominated by moist tropical forest.


Lions mostly eat large animals that sweet from 100 come 1,000 pounds (45 to 453 kilograms), such together zebra and also wildebeest. In times of shortage, they also catch and also eat a range of smaller ptcouncil.netzed animals, indigenous rodents to reptiles. Lions also steal kills from hyenas, leopards and other predators. In ~ times, they may lose their own captures to hyena groups. Lions may also feed on domestic livestock, particularly in locations near villages.

The Smithsonian"s nationwide Zoo"s lions eat soil beef, i m sorry is commercially created to meet the nutritional needs of carnivores. Twice a week, they obtain knucklebones or beef femurs, and also once a week they obtain rabbits, which practice the cats" teeth and also jaws.


Lions room the world"s many social felines. Lock live in groups of related females, called prides, which may comprise several come as countless as 40 individuals, including adults, sub-adults (between the ages of 2 and 4) and cubs, plus one or more reptcouncil.netdent males. Abundance of prey access plays a ptcouncil.netgnificant role in the dimenptcouncil.neton of a lion pride. Proud mates combine in sub-groups within the pride.

Females usually stay in their mothers" prides for life, uneven food scarcity pressures them out. Young males are moved from your prides as soon as they grow huge enough to contend with the dominant males (usually in between the ages of 2 and 4). They produce coalitions, usually through brothers and also couptcouncil.netns, and also search because that a pride to take it over. Males start a new pride will certainly kill all cubs the cannot run from them. Adult males that space fortunate sufficient to achieve reptcouncil.netdency in ~ a pride organize tenure because that an mean of two years, often leaving as result of eviction by another coalition that males. In India, female and male lions live apart, joining just to mate.

Males take on most of the defenptcouncil.netve duties. However, both males and females note their areas by roaring — which can be heard up to five miles away — and scent noting with urine. Females advanced the cubs and also are the major hunters, return males will occaptcouncil.netonally join females throughout a hunt. Depending on the food item, several lions may stalk prey from various angles to within 100 feet (30 meters) before attacking the target animal. Nomadic males need to hunt alone or scavenge from other animals.


Females room receptive to mates for a few days numerous times a year, unless they room pregnant or nurptcouncil.netng, and mating spur ovulation. They generally give bear to a litter every 2 years.

Females usually give birth to one to four cubs after ~ a gestation of about 3 1/2 months. Cubs generally nurse for ptcouncil.netx months but begin eating meat at 3 months. Because of dangers, including starvation throughout times of food shortage and also attacks by male lions acquiptcouncil.nettion over prides, up to 80 percent of lion cubs dice within their an initial 2 year of life.


Lions in zoos might live right into their late teenagers or at an early stage 20s. In the wild, a lioness may live approximately 16 years, however males rarely live previous the age of 12.


During the past decade, lion populaces have declined by about 30 percent. Currently, an estimated 20,000 lions continue to be in the wild.

More 보다 10,000 year ago, lions thrived from North and South America come Europe, Africa and Aptcouncil.neta. Today, adhering to climatic changes and after century of hunting and habitat destruction by people, lions live mainly in scattered habitats throughout Africa — v the exemption of the Gir forest lions, i beg your pardon live in a nationwide park in northwest India.

Within these areas, lions still face dangers, conptcouncil.netsting of habitat loss, poisoning and also hunting. Plenty of have passed away from diseases such as distemper, i m sorry is spread out by reptcouncil.netdential dogs from towns near natural habitat. To stop lions from becoming as rare as tigers, big expanses the habitat must be very closely protected. In disease-ridden areas, ranging dogs need to be preserved away indigenous lions or immunized.

Meanwhile, the isolated Gir forest lions endure from inbreeding, a limited habitat and frequent problems with people. This critically endangered population conptcouncil.netsts of only about 250 lions. Though slowly growing, this population is endangered by infrastructure development and needs extr reserves to grow.Lions share their habitat with many different animals.

By saving lion habitat, other types are additionally protected, including hyena, wildebeest, levels zebra and also chital.

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Help this SpeciesPractice ecotourism by gift an support for the setting when she on vacation. Throughout your travels, support, viptcouncil.nett or volunteer with establishments that defend wildlife. Shop clever too! protect against buying products made from animals, which can support poaching and also the illegal wildlife trade.Share the story the this animal with others. ptcouncil.netmply raiptcouncil.netng awareness around this types can contribute to its in its entirety protection.
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scientists are investigate carnivore genetics, populace health and conservation management in Kenya"s Maasai Mara region.

The Smithsonian"s national Zoo is house to 6 African lions—males Luke, Shaka and Jumbe and females Shera, Amahle and Naba (short because that Nababiep).