social life gregarious
The lion is popularly known as the ‘king of the jungle’, but actually the tropical forest (jungle) is the only habitat lions, which have a broad habitat tolerance, are absent from.
Lions are an icon of wildlife across the world. There exist two subspecies, the African lion (Panthera leo leo) and the Asia lion (Panthera leo persica).
Lions are the only social big cats. A lion pride is formed by several related females and male coalitions that dispute their dominance to stay in the pride.
They display an array of affiliative behaviours, from licking their heads to laying next to each other.
The females do most of the hunting for the pride and they team-work. The lion’s diet is strictly carnivorous and as an apex predator it plays a crucial role on the ecosystem’s food chain. Apex predators control or “keep in check” other predator populations, which without restraint would have a depletion effect on prey populations.
Some of the threats lions face in the wild is human-animal conflict, such as retaliatory killings for livestock losses, prey population collapse, trophy hunting and body parts demand, due to traditional medicine beliefs.