By: Vivienne Wellet

Lions are a wild and beautiful species. They are muscular, deep-chested, short, and round-headed. Male lions are often bigger than females and they have a mane that goes around their head to show off to females. Scientifically named Panthera leo, they are native to Africa and India and can run up to 80mph to catch their food. They are carnivores so they like to eat/hunt for medium to large-sized animals including zebras, wild beasts, and antelopes.

They can live up to 10-15 years and can weigh up to 420 pounds. Lion babies, also known as cubs, can start walking as soon as 10-15 days old while they are developing their baby teeth. Their mothers feed them for the first few months of life until they’re old enough to eat meat. Afterwards, the mother keeps her cub(s) hidden for two months from other adult lions. A terrible thing lion mothers do is if their cub is defected/deformed, sick,or weak, she abandons them with no protection or food, which means they will end up dying to starvation or any other wild animal that eats it. Although adult lions are not so friendly, especially mothers who tend to protect their cubs, cubs are super friendly towards people since they are still small and tiny.

A funny thing is that lions are scared of humans as some humans are scared of lions. What if you wanted to make adult lions friendly? Well, you can, by showing them respect and not making yourself seem like a threat, they will give the same respect as you do. Male lions can sense which cub is theirs by smell. Lions are the only cats that live in groups and there can be up to 30 lions in one group depending on how much food and water there is in their territory.

They mark their territory by using their urine to create a kind or border for any other animals who try to come in. Females are the main hunter while males wait until they catch dinner. Lions roar to communicate if their food is coming, which can be heard from up to 80 kilometers away. They can be the sneakiest animals out there, as they’re known for laying low and waiting for the right opportunity to strike. If someone is ever in the wild in Africa or India and they come across a lion, stare them down as a show of threat if you don’t want to be attacked. If you come across a leopard then don’t make eye contact whatsoever.

Photo from San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants

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