Male African lion

African lion

King of cats

Type

Image of a giant panda

Mammals

Area

Map of Africa

Africa

Endangered Status

Threatened

facts

size
4 feet tall
at the shoulder
An average refrigerator is 5.8 feet (70 inches) tall.
Lion standing next to a refrigerator
food
meat
Carnivore
meat

Lions prey on antelope, zebras, and other hoofed animals.

habitat
grassland
Savanna grassland

description

Lion male sitting with small cub nearby

Pride matters

Lions live in groups called prides. There can be from from 3 to 30 lions in a pride. A pride contains many females and their young, and a few males. The lionesses rule the pride, working together to hunt and raise the cubs. But the adult males play an important role as well. They guard the pride and protect its territory.

Lion roaring
Mother lion and cub scratching at tree trunk

Big kitties

Lions have some behaviors that are like those of your cat at home. They are very good climbers and are often seen up in trees checking the area for prey. Lions sleep up to 21 hours a day, and researchers have seen them sleeping in some unusual positions—including on their backs with their paws in the air!

Male lion running in front of wood fence

Danger ahead

Lions need large territories to hunt successfully, and habitat loss is a problem facing lion populations. Lions are also viewed as a threat to livestock by ranchers. Ranchers may shoot lions or poison carcasses to keep them away from their livestock (lions will scavenge, making them easy targets for the poisoning method).