Scientific Name: Panthera leo senegalensis
Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Body Length: 1.7–2.5 m
Weight: 150–250 kg
Gestation: 100–120 days
Number of young: 1–6
Distribution: Central and southern Africa
Habitat: Grassy plains, savannahs, semi-deserts
Description: African Lions are a golden or tawny-brown colour and have large padded feet and retractable claws. The male lion has a mane which makes him look bigger than he actually is and protects his throat from the claws and teeth of other animals.
Diet: Lions are carnivores. They hunt in packs for large prey like zebra, wildebeest and buffalo. Individuals also forage for small rodents, hares and reptiles.
In the wild: Unlike other cat species, lions are quite social and live in groups called ‘prides’. These prides contain 4–6 adults and their cubs. Adult males defend a large area against other males and hold mating rights over the prides within their territory. Spotted Hyaenas and African Painted Dogs are the natural predators of old, young or sick lions that are too weak to defend themselves.
Threats: Lions are threatened by overpopulation by humans, poaching, habitat loss and disease.
At Perth Zoo: The lions can be seen in the African Savannah.
Did you know? Because male lions are so big and have a full mane, they are often too slow and conspicuous to hunt. The male protects the pride while the lionesses hunt. Male lions always eat first.
A lion’s roar can be heard up to 8 km away.
Hear a lioness roar: