The lion is a magnificent animal that appears as a symbol of power, courage and nobility on family crests, coats of arms and national flags just like in Kenya. Lions at one time were found from Greece through the Middle East to northern India, but today only a very small population remains in India. The lions are mostly found in Africa. Among the famous park in Kenya to view these prides includes Maasai Mara National reserve, Tsavo National park, and Amboseli National park among other parks in Kenya.
Lions are the laziest of the big cats though they are very brave when it comes to fighting or hunting. They spend 15 to 20 hours a day sleeping and resting, devoting the remaining hours to hunting, courting or protecting their territory in case of any intruder . They communicate with one another by roaring loud enough to be heard in miles away.
The pride usually remains intact until the males are challenged and successfully driven away or killed by other males, who then take over the pride and rule the group .Not all lions live in prides. At maturity, young males leave the units of their birth and spend several months or years as nomads before they become strong enough to take over a pride of their own
Worldwide lion is known as the only truly social cats and live in groups called prides with a pack mentality that is usually led by the females. Male lions are known to defend the pride’s territory and protect the pride with cubs while females do most of the hunting. Despite this, the males eat first, then females and finally the cubs. The gestation period of a lion is around 3 to 4 months and gives birth to two to four cubs with a lifespan of 13 years.
Physically lion have a tawny yellow color, lions and tend to be lighter in color in hot, arid areas and darker in areas of dense vegetation. Though mature male lions are unique among the cat species because of the thick brown mane in the head and neck and tends to grow more blacker with age which is a distinct feature for the male to identify. The tails of lions end in a horny spine covered with a tuft of hair. Lions are often seen in savannas, grasslands, dense bush and woodlands as these are known to be the best ecosystem for them.
In the pride, the territorial males are the fathers of all the cubs until he become weak, this is where a strong male lion may jet in and take over the pride by a strong fight that may result in wounding each other and thus the weaker male may surrender and quite the group. When a lioness is in heat, a male will join her, staying with her constantly. The pair usually mates for less than a minute, but it does so about every 15 to 30 minutes over a period of four to five days. They may often be seen in their honeymoon as spotted in Kenya safaris for a week as this is the time they start making their cubs. Lions may hunt at any hour, but like going after large prey at night but can live for two to three days without eating. They hunt together to increase their success rate by taming a prey in a group of four for easy capturing of the tamed prey.