Lion, African (Lion)
Mainly savannahs and grasslands
Species Survival Plan, Vulnerable
Specialize in hunting large hoofed animals such as zebras, wildebeest, and gazelles. Female lions do all the hunting, working as a team to drive the prey into a female waiting in ambush.
Males: 170 - 250 cm (66 - 98 in)
Females: 140 - 175 cm (55 - 68 in)
Males: 150 - 250 kg (330 - 550 lb)
Females: 120 - 182 kg (264 - 400 lb)
African lions are the second largest cat in the world, second only to tigers. Males are noticeably larger than females and have a large mane. These differences occur because of the different roles played by the sexes. Females have to be agile for hunting, and males have to be big and burly to protect their offspring.
Lions will live in a pride of anywhere between 2 and 40 members. The resident males of a pride are immigrants that have forcefully gained control of the price from the previous male members. In order to successfully take over a pride, males form coalitions, usually consisting of brothers. Adolescent males leave their natal pride when their fathers (or the new male leaders) begin to view them as competition. Females are lifelong residents in their mother's territory. Females do not fight with each other, and do not display dominant behaviour, unlike many other matriarchal social systems.
Though their population remains stable in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, lions aren't faring well everywhere. Lions are already extinct in Europe and Western Asia, and they look to be heading that way in India as well with only less than 200 mature individuals in the Gir forest. Lions are mainly hunted for sport and persecution.