Throughout the history of man, the lion has been considered the symbol of strength. We say "strong as a lion" or "lion-hearted." In courts throughout the world, the lion was used on shields and crests and banners to indicate power.
Lions are the closest big cat relatives to common house cats, and Mountain Lions even purr. Lions can be found in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most names, such as Mountain Lion, Puma, Cougar, Painter, Purple Feather, Catamount,
Screecher, and Screamer, to name just a few. Adult male lions weigh anywhere from 330-530 lbs and females 270-400 lbs, however, their amazing agility allows them to leap as high as 15 ft and as far as 40 ft! They use this ability to great effect when hunting, where they will often bring down prey by pouncing.
POPULATION STATUS VULNERABLE: In the last 21 years, the lion population has rapidly been reduced by 41% due to loss of habitat, prey species, food contamination, illness, poisoning and big game hunters.
Lions are members of the cat family. The average length of a grown-up lion is about nine feet and they weigh between 400 and 500 pounds. The males are larger than the females. People who hunt lions can always tell whether they are tracking a male or female by the size of the tracks. The male has much larger front feet than the female.
The lion's voice is a roar or a growl. Unlike other cats, it doesn't purr, and rarely climbs trees. Unlike other cats, too, it takes readily to deep water. Lions feed on grazing animals, so they live in more or less open country and not in forests. And because they drink once a day, they always live near some supply of water. Lions rest by day and do their hunting by night. Lions may live singly, or in pairs, or in groups of four to a dozen which are known as "prides." The main food supply of lions comes from zebras, gazelles, and antelopes. Sometimes a lion will attack a giraffe, but it won't attack an elephant, rhinoceros, or hippopotamus. When a lion isn't hungry, he pays no attention to other animals.
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