Meet Judah Our Male African Lion.
Lions are the world’s most social felines. They live in a large social group called prides which can consist of 1 or more males and as many as 30 related females. Juvenile males are kicked out at around the 1 ½ to 4 years of age however, females usually stay in their mothers’ prides for life. Males will create coalitions, usually with brothers and cousins and search for a pride to take over. Males entering a new pride will kill all cubs that cannot run from them. As soon as Judah comes of age, he will be introduced to a female and start his own “pride” here at the zoo.
Lions have strong, compact bodies and powerful forelegs, teeth and jaws for pulling down and killing prey. They primarily eat large animals that weigh from 100 to 1,000 pounds such as zebra and wildebeest.
Lions stand between 3.5 and 4 feet tall at the shoulders and can weigh from 250 to 550 pounds.
A lion’s roar can be heard from 5 miles away!
Lions inhabit a wide range of habitats, from open plains to thick brush and dry thorn forest. Except for a small population of the Indian lion subspecies that remains in the Gir Forest of northwest India, lions now live only in Africa, from the Sahara’s southern fringe to northern South Africa.
During the past decade, lion populations have declined by about 30 percent. Currently, an estimated 20,000 lions remain in the wild. Due to this, today their status is Vulnerable and on the decline. Lions still face dangers, including habitat loss, poisoning and hunting. To prevent lions from becoming as rare as tigers, large expanses of habitat must be carefully protected.