“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen
The lioness and cubs after the rain
They live in groups called pride, and are the only social animals of the big cat family, with the African lions the most social of them all. They seem to enjoy being together in a group and show lots of affection to each other by playing, touching, licking, purring, and head rubbing each other when resting
. Lions belong to the cat family of animals known as feline (Felidae), they are the second largest of the big cats behind the tigers.
A pride usually consists of 15 lions with most of them females and their young. One or two to three males may join a pride for up to three years if they are not replaced by other lions.
A female lion (lioness), which is smaller in size than the male, leads a pride.
The two cubs are not looking very happy after the rain
Little one notices us nearby
Lions mate all through the year. The female carries a pregnancy for 110 days (gestation period) before giving birth to 3 to 4 babies called cubs.
Mother watching our every move
Young lions begin hunting from 11 months; however they remain with their mothers to avoid being attacked by black-backed jackals, hyenas, and leopards which prey on them. When they become 2 years old, they become independent and strong enough to protect themselves.
Female lions are nocturnal and are therefore able to hunt at night. They hunt in a team which makes it easier for them to get their prey
Timbavati Private Game Reserve
In Africa, lions are now only found in the South Sahara desert and in some parts of South and East Africa and not the whole of Africa as it was before.
Lions are carnivores, meaning they eat the flesh of other animals they can hunt. They hunt several kinds of small to large animals for food, including hares, reptiles, giraffe, zebras, impalas, wildebeest, and buffalos.
The population of lions in Africa has been reduced to about 21,000 from twice this number that it was in the 1950s, making lions one of the world’s most endangered animals.
A lion can leap to about 36 feet, run 50 mph over short distances, and when it walks, its heels do not touch the ground.
Lions may have different colors; however, they are usually light yellow-brown with the mature male having a thick brown or black mane around its neck. The lion’s mane protects it from injury during fighting and makes it unique among other big cats.
You can guess the age of a male lion by the color of its mane. The darker the mane, the more mature the lion is.
Published as part of Wordless Wednesday
Shindzela Tented Camp, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Hoedspruit, 1380, South Africa