African Lion

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Animal File

Common Name:
African Lion
Scientific Name:
Panthera leo
Size: 0.9 m (female to shoulder)
Weight: 120 - 191 kg
Native to Africa

Conservation Status


Get unbelievably close to these awesome killers with only a pane of glass between you - you can almost smell the lions’ breath! These magnificent cats live between 10 and 14 years in the wild and their only threats are hunting and disease such as canine distemper. Our pride is made up of 10 year old male, Wallace, and his son, Khari.

When resting, lions in a pride are often very affectionate with each other and there is plenty of purring, touching, head rubbing and licking to form closer bonds. Cubs are fiercely protected by both parents until they become mature enough to leave and establish their own pride. Litters of cubs usually comprise between 1 and 4 cubs which are, like domestic cats, blind at birth, but also have spotted coats which enables them to be hidden in the undergrowth.

Adult male lions are instantly recognisable by the thick growth of hair on the neck, the mane, and the thicker and darker the mane, the more attractive the lion becomes to the females as this is a sign of good health. Lions usually hunt after dark as they have excellent night vision.

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