African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Order: Carnivora     Family: Felidae      Genus: Panthera
Binominal name (Species): Panthera leo (Linnaeus)

They are beautiful, majestic, graceful, bolder, with a regal presence, but they are also a deadly predators. For all of this, the African Lion is known as the King of the beasts! The territories that inhabit the African Lions are invariably dominated by them. Hundreds of years ago, their presence was really massively in large areas of Africa, Asia, North and South America. In the recent past, in 1949, in the consecutive evaluation of the actual population, they were about 450,000 in the natural conditions of wildlife. Today, in Africa has no more than 30,000 remained lions. Their number has decreased by more than 90% .In Asia are only about 350 lions that inhabit mainly the area of Gir forest in Gujarat, India. The main reasons for this decline are the hunting of lions, poaching, habitat loss due to industrial pollution of the nature.

The African Lions are adapted for life in pastures and mixed areas with trees and grass. They usually live in savanna and grassland, though they sometimes live in a forest lands and shrubs. One of the main habitats of the African Lions is the Kalahari desert, a large dry area in South West Africa. It is 30 times bigger than Belgium and although Kalahari means "great thirst" this still not a true desert because it has periods of the year with much rainfall. This ensures abundance of vegetation as a food for herbivores. The herbivores (from insects to antelopes) are on the menu of all kinds of predators, including the lions.

The African Lions, as a representatives of the carnivorous mammals, are carnivores and they looking anytime for a meat available. 50% of their diet constitutes a bodies of injured or killed by natural causes (disease) animals or killed by other predators. They are always on the lookout for circling of the vultures, because it means that there is dead or injured animal nearby. This makes them one of the natural "orderlies" in the wild, because in this way they clean the areas from rotting bodies of a dead animals. The Lions are not as fast as the cheetahs, but they are decisively and ruthless in the pursuit of their livelihoods. Females (lionesses) are fast runners on short distances and they coordinate the hunting of herd animals. Females are generally active and make the hunting of the Pride, but when it's necessary, the men come to the aid if the prey is a big animal.

Male lions weigh between 150 and 250 kg. Adult lions can reach 250-270 kg (550-600 lb). Females (lionesses) are usually from 120 to 180 kg (260 to 400 lb). The mature male lions are the only cat with a mane. In the wild, the African Lions live in about 10 to 14 years. This is because the wounds from fighting with other males for hunting, make their lives shorter. They can live longer than 20 years, when are in the reserves. Compared to other cats, the lions are very social and often they live in groups. A group of lions is called a Pride. In the Pride of lions living there related women, their small and a small number of adult males. Often, a groups of female lions hunt together.

In Antwerp Zoo was built a very extensive dwelling place for only a few of African Lions. There are a perfect conditions extremely close to their natural living conditions, and are a lavish and picturesque view for all visitors to the Zoo. Part of this living environment of lions is separated by a deep water moat, but there no special fence which allows visitors to enjoy the amazing view in the presence of these impressive regal animals that seem quite calm and friendly, but maybe only seemingly ...

Address: ZOO Antwerp, Koningin Astridplein 26, 2018 Antwerpen, Belgium

Related images

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

A Pride of African Lions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

A Pride of African Lions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

A Pride of African Lions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

A Pride of African Lions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

A Pride of African Lions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

A Pride of African Lions, ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

African Lions (Panthera leo) in ZOO Antwerpen, Belgium

Related links

http://africawildlife.org/lion/

http://www.zooantwerpen.be/

http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/african-lion-photo-1371.html

http://www.oceanlight.com/lightbox.php?x=african_lion__mammal__animal