Tuesday, February 7, 2012

african lions


More About The African Lion

The African Lion, known as panthero leo scientifically, is a rather large, robust cat with a longish heavy muzzle. They have a tawny coat with whitish underbelly, long tails with a black tassel at the tip. Ears are white inside and marked black on the back. They are mostly found in the African grasslands and savannas, the woodlands and dense bushes of East Africa, part of Senegal, Angola, Namibia, Angola, South Africa and Mozambique and even the Kalahari Desert. Weighing over 250 kilos and able to eat up to 70 kilos of meat at a sitting, adult lions are second only to tiger in cat hierarchy.


Due to human activities including sport hunting, poaching, pollution, civil wars etc, the number of many wild animals continue to diminish. The African lion is no exception to this rule. Currently, it is estimated that there are only between 10,000 and 15,000 free-roaming lions in the wild. Only a decade ago, their number was about 50,000.
The male lions develop a mane at the beginning of the third year. The colour of the mane varies from blond to black. For lions found in the open plains, the mane if fuller while for those found in the open plains and is a little sparse for those lions in the bushes. The cubs have brownish sports that fade by the third month. They breed through out the year but the peak breeding season is the rainy season when anything between 1 and 4 cubs are born after a three and half period of gestation period.
Young male lions leave the pride to become wanderers until they are fully mature. Then they look for a pride to take over if they are able to depose the ruler of that pride. The taking over of a pride involves a savage power-struggle in form of physical fight. They will rule this pride until, in turn, they too are deposed by a younger, stronger male.
Order of the Africa Lions' Pride
A pride includes anywhere from 2 or 3 to 40 lions. Pride members perform a greeting ritual when they meet; they rub their heads and sides together, with tails looped high, while making friendly moaning sounds. Females are lifelong residents of their mothers' territories, unless food is too scarce, in which case extras emigrate. Adolescent males are forced to depart when their fathers begin to treat them as potential rivals; they spend two or three years as nomads until they mature, they begin seeking pride to take over. Success depends mainly on numbers.
Eating Habits and Customs of the Africa Lions
Lions eat most of the stuff we know, as long as it is meaty; from tortoises to giraffes. But tend to hunt the prey they grew up eating, and customs differ among prides. Lions are the only truly sociable cats; related females share a traditional home range, tend to reproduce in synchrony, and cross-suckle their offspring. A coalition of two males is the minimum; their tenure is seldom longer than two and a half years - just long enough for one set of cubs to reach the age of independence. Trios and quarters have longer tenures. Most coalition is made up of brothers, but unrelated nomads also join forces.
Lions are the only social species of cats, they live in prides of related females, litters of up to 6 cubs are common and several lionesses often give birth within a few weeks of one another. They readily suckle one another's cubs, enabling one to survive when lactation fails or death occurs. And, surprise! though the female lion weighs only two thirds the males' weight, the female does most of the kills.
And now I would like to invite you to view our selection of African Lion Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania. You will find information and can even book your Safari. For additional insight and guidance, visit our site at http://www.africantravelhub.com
From Aaron Ladebe - Editor and African Safari Expert at African Travelhub/Hallmark Travel Planners.

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