African lions are some of the most well known and charismatic animals in Africa. Here at Wildlife Safari, we currently have 5 African lions. Tsavo and Enzi are our two adult males, Serafina and Mtai are our two adult females and Upepo is our youngest lion at 4 years old. Lions can actually live into their late teens and early twenties in human care while in the wild, male lions will typically only live to be about 7-9 years old and females will live into their early teens. Lions are the only true social cats. They live in groups called prides that can have anywhere from 3 to 30 individuals! Prides in the wild will typically have one dominant male and may also have several males who do not breed but still help with protecting the pride.
Female lions will typically weigh anywhere from 275 to 330 pounds while males can get much larger weighing anywhere from 400 to 500 pounds. Lions are one of the only species of cats that has a big physical difference between males and females. A male lion has a mane that continues to grow throughout his whole lifetime! The darker that mane is, the more dominant the male lion is. Female lions also choose males with the darkest mane.
Lion cubs are born with spots on their legs. These spots go away as they get older. The dark spots on the backs of their ears and the tips of their tails stay. New research is showing that lions use their tail tips to find each other in the savanna grasses! Female lions also hunt in the same pattern every single time, so the dark tail tip can help them keep the hunting formation.
Want to meet Wildlife Safari’s lions up close? Join us for one of our daily lion encounters at 10:45 (all ages) or our daily lion feed at 4:45 (10 and up)!