AFRICAN LIONS

IUCN: Vulnerable

  • Lions are the only big cats that are social and live in large groups called prides. 
  • Male lions are lazy and leave most of the hunting to the females, but will fight other males that come into their territory. 
  • Lions usually hunt in the evening, and their normal prey is large grazing animals like wildebeest, zebra or antelope.
  • Like most hunters, lions don’t eat every day, and are only successful when they hunt around 30 % of the time.
  • When lions cubs are very young, they have spotted fur.
  • An average mature male lion stands 1.2m at the shoulder and is up to 2.5m long, plus tail. He'll average just over 200 kg. Females are considerable smaller, weighing less than 120 kg.
  • A lion’s loud roar is made possible by the cartilage in his throat having ossified into bone (referred to as the Hyoid structure). The roar of an adult lion is so loud that it can be heard for up to 5 kilometres.
  • The first animal at Wellington Zoo was a lion called King Dick. He was given to the city of Wellington in 1906.