FAQ on African Lion

Lion in Tswalu Reserve at dusk
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Introduction

Lions are carnivorous mammals that live within a strict hierarchy. Males are the dominant gender and although the females are the hunters, females and their cubs are the last to feast. Lions are the ultimate predator and play a big role in the decline in the Cheetah and Wild Dog population.

Why are Lion so aggressive at kills?

The best answer to this question would be that the most aggressive animal will win and survive. When more than one Lion is present at a kill, the aggression and noise will rise. Although the Lion might be related to one another, sharing is not an option. Aggressive fights are sometimes the result of a Lion trying to steal leftovers.

Can Lion climb trees?

Yes. Lion use the height of trees to catch a breeze, search for prey and to avoid Hyenas. They might even use a tree to avoid flies. Lion lack the grace, skill and balance of a leopard and usually just fall out of the tree. Lions do not generally climb trees but there are prides in Africa, Lake Manyara in Tanzania and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, which seem to have adapted to climbing. In other parts of Africa Lions will take to the trees to escape danger and the irritation of bugs and flies. Lions are ill suited to this pursuit and there is no grace in the attempts at climbing.

Why do Lion have manes?

The mane is an immediate sign of sexual dimorphism (indicates which gender) as the males are the only ones that possess them. It has been discovered that the darker and bigger the mane, the more dominant the male. The females seem to prefer these individuals when they are in oestrous. The mane is also a means of protection to the face and neck during fights between male lions.

Where are Lions found in Kruger?

Lions are found in a range of habitats throughout Kruger with Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Crocodile Bridge and the open woodlands of Satara been favoured.



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