African Lion

African Lion

Panthera leo


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Quick Facts
Body Length: Males: 67 to 98 inches; tail length: 39 to 41 inches; females: 35 to 69 inches; tail length: 27 to 39 inches
Height: Males: 49 inches; females: 42 inches
Weight: Males: 330 to 530 pounds; females: 270 to 400 pounds
Distribution: Southern Sahara to South Africa
Habitat: Grassy plains, savannahs, open woodlands, and scrub country
Wild Diet: Animals in the 100- to 650-pound range: wildebeests, impala, antelope, young giraffes, buffalo, wild hogs, and zebras
Zoo Diet: Nebraska feline and canine diet, plus chunk horse meat, liver, or shank bone as treats

African lions are sexually dimorphic (with two distinct gender forms). Males are larger and have manes. Their fur is light tawny, with white on their belly and the inner side of the legs, while the back of their ears and their tail tip are black. The manes of African lions can be tawny to reddish-brown to black. Adult males usually have a dark mane on the head, neck, and shoulders, which offers protection to the neck during fights. Both sexes have a tuft of fur on the tip of the tail.

Status in the Wild

Listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

Conservation Programs
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