King of the jungle

Thanks to its imposing mane and ferocity, the lion is known by all as the king of the jungle. However, it is the lioness who takes care of most of the work within the group such as hunting and raising the cubs. In fact, the lionesses of each pride, which can have between 3 and 40 members, are related to each other (mothers, daughters, sisters or grandmothers) and only one or two males are part of the group. The function of the dominant lion is to protect the territory of the herd, scaring away possible enemies.

Lionesses live in their group for life (unless food is scarce) while young lions are allowed to live in their community for two to four years, leaving their family to form their own prides.

Fun facts

  • After tigers, lions are the second largest cats in the world.
  • At birth, the lioness hides her cub for six weeks to protect it from predators. After this time, the little ones can join the pack.
  • The average male lion weighs around 400 pounds (180 kg) while the average female lion weighs around 290 pounds (130 kg).
  • A lion’s roar can be heard from 8 kilometers (5.0 miles) away.
  • Although the females are in charge of hunting in groups of two or three, it is the dominant lion that eats first. The remains of food are consumed among the lionesses in order of hierarchy (importance), leaving the cubs last.
  • Like other cats, lions lick and pet members of their pride.