Habitat: open, or lightly wooded grasslands.
Food in wild: mainly large ungulates. Zebra and antelope are the
favourite food of the lion.
Status: common in protected areas.
mainly East Africa. A rare sub-species exists in Gir forest, India.
The lion used to roam over most of Africa, Arabia, Persia (Iran)
Size: 1.8 - 2.5 metres.
characteristic: Distinguisging the lion from the rest of the cat
family, is the mane of the male.
Weight: 180 - 230 kg.
Gestation: 13 - 16 weeks.
of Young: 2 - 6 cubs.
Up to 29 years in captivity.
Zoo has maintained African Lions since the day it opened on 9th
July 1947. The original animals Singh and Topsy
were presented by Dublin Zoo and London Zoo.
cubs are very small when new-born. At first, the female hardly comes
out of the secluded den. Gradually, over the next three or four
weeks she emerges more often. Sometimes she carries a cub, and with
time her outings lengthen.
Rude to Stare
Staring, or a prolonged fixed gaze on a human or animal by another
human or animal, is taken as a sign of very unnatural interest,
usually some form of aggressive threat. If you want to build up
trust with any animal, don't stare. Do as they do, which is to glance
at you from time to time while otherwise looking past you into the
distance. A " friendly " lion glances momentarily at you
then looks away. An " unfriendly " lion fixes his gaze
in a very determined and unblinking manner. If you do the same to
him he immediately categorises you as " the enemy ". In
a matter of just a few days, he will be reacting aggressively whenever
he sees you coming.
of Falling Bones!
with interest the story about an 11-week-old wolf cub from the Highland
Wildlife Park near Kincraig in Kingussie.
The cub was knocked out after its father swung round at feeding time
and caught it in the face. Thankfully, after treatment, the cub made
a full recovery.
It reminded me of an episode some years ago at Glasgow Zoo.
A male lion, after finishing eating a piece of meat, dropped the bone
And it landed on the head of its eight-week-old cub.
It staggered around for some time, but it, too, recovered. Perhaps
this sort of happens in the wild all the time, but there is nobody
around to see it.