Today is World Lion day. In honour of this international awareness day we have listed 10 facts both directly related to, and some indirectly related to our favourite Big Cat!
- Lions are the 2nd largest big cat in the world, behind the tiger. An average male lion weighs a whopping 180kg (28 stones, 4lbs) and an average female lion weighs around 130kg (20 stones, 6lbs). Although they have a huge size, a lion can run at around 50mph over short distances and even leap as far as 36 feet. No wonder Team GB did so well at the last Olympics with their Lion logo.
- Even though the male is the bigger of the two, it is the female that usually goes to hunt for food. The male then eats first when a kill has been made. This doesn’t sound too dissimilar to what happens in my house at dinner time!
- Although Lions are the second biggest cat, there has been controversy recently with Nestlé’s Lion Bar. The size has dramatically reduced in the recent years leading to widespread speculation about the link between Lion numbers in the wild and the size of the popular chocolate snack.
- Lions are extremely social compared to other big cats. Most other big cats are solitary in the wild, with adult females living with other big cats when they are with their young. Lions however maintain a strong family unit called a Pride. There is usually one or two male lions within each pride and a group of females.
- A good way to judge the age of a male lion is to look at its mane. The darker the mane the older the lion. Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to humans with hair generally becoming lighter (greyer!) with age.
- A lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away and it is the largest of any big cat! Lions roar as a means of communication. It is usually used to mark their territory, so you can imagine a Lion’s roar as loosely translating to the famous EastEnders line “Get out my pub”
- Lions are the national animal for a number of different counties including: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Singapore. Although Lions are not native to many of the countries on this list – so don’t worry about bumping into one the next time you pop the shop for some milk!
- The Lion King was originally called “King of the Jungle” however Disney changed the name when they realised that Lions don’t actually live in the jungle! Lions actually live in grasslands and plains. King of the Field just doesn’t have the same ring to it!
- The Lion King is both the best-selling home video of all time and also has the bestselling soundtrack of all time. Oblivious a lot of people felt the love tonight with that film!
- Disney Originally wanted Sean Connery to voice Mufasa in the film but in the end the part was given to James Earl Jones. Just imagine instead of a Circle of Life we could have had the Shircle of Life
If you are looking to learn more about animals in general, why not take a look at our Zoology Diploma?