No animal commands as much fascination, respect and admiration as the almighty lion. As we were growing up, lions were labeled as the "king of the jungle” and we always pictured the lions rounding up a group of animals to hold court. In reality though, lions don’t live in jungles, they really live in the savanna, which is a long shot from a jungle with the severe lack of trees. Secondly, if lions did hold court with other animals, they would probably end up eating that zebra, gazelle, buffalo and maybe even that tasty giraffe because that’s what lions do. Here are 5 facts about lions that you probably didn't know.
Lions do have a hierarchical social system that emulates a monarchy though so that part may be considered accurate. We’ve put together a list of 5 facts about lions to help you understand more of this magnificent big cat.
Big cats are normally a bunch of loners. Unlike members of the canine family who use a social structure to aid their cause, normally cats prefer to do things by themselves. Lions are a major exception to this too. They live in groups that are called prides and are led by, wait for it, a lion king! In fact, when a male lion wants to take over a pride, they kill all of the cubs to avoid any competition to their power, that puts Game of Thrones to shame doesn’t it?
The lion’s roar is one of the fiercest things you can ever hear. They use their roar to communicate their position to other prides and among themselves. A lion’s roar can be heard from as far as 5 miles away. I sure am glad my wife doesn’t have the same capability or I will never get to spend time at the nearby bar.
Unlike us humans whose hairs grow lighter with age, lions on the other hand show their age by the darkness of their manes. It doesn’t only show their age but also signals how strong the lion is and healthy he stands. Females prefer lions with darker manes, so being blond isn’t fun in all species it seems. Other lions know this fact and allow them the chance to avoid fighting a stronger lion. So the next time you’re trapped in a lion’s den and need to choose which lion to fight, pick the one with the lightest mane. I doubt you’ll survive either one though.
In fact if you shave of all the fur form a tiger and from a lion, you couldn’t be able to tell them apart. Lions and tigers share a very close DNA pattern and this allows them to even breed together. A result of a male tiger bred with a female lion is called a Tigon. On the other hand, having a lion for a dad and tiger for a mom makes you a Liger.
This is a fact we were sad to share. These wonderfully elegant animals are on the verge of extinction. The species was plentiful in Europe, Asia and Africa before but the threat of human encroachment on their habitat has seen their numbers dwindle dramatically. The Asiatic Lion is the more endangered with their numbers teetering at 300 to 400. The African Lion in the meantime was recently downgraded from Vulnerable to Endangered, which is a major cause for alarm.
With the primary reason for their near-extinction being the loss of habitat there have been several efforts to set up sanctuaries for lions. Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world dedicated to abused and abandoned big cats. The sanctuary, which was founded in 1992, now has more than 80 lions being cared for along with tigers and cougars.
If you want your children and grandchildren to keep seeing these magnificent creatures in action it’s really important that you do your share in helping the cause. Our clothing brand called, Endangered Apparel, has committed to sending 20% of profits on our Lion Shirt line to the Big Cats Rescue foundation. Our Lion Shirt includes Lion polo t-shirts and other Lion clothing. Every now and then you may need a new shirt or think of gifting one, it would be a huge help to buy one that helps and supports a great cause.