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Scientific Name: Panthera leo
Range & Habitat: Found in deserts, grasslands, savannahs and open country of Africa and India
Size: Males weigh up to 550 lbs with a body length of seven feet, plus a three-foot tail. Females are smaller, averaging 280 pounds.
Life Span: 15 years in the wild; 20 years in zoos
Gestation: 105-112 days; 2-4 cubs
Wild Diet: Hoofed animals from giraffe to antelope, young elephants and rhino, crocodiles, snakes, insects and rodents
Zoo Diet: Carnivore diet and bones
Habits: Lions are social, living in family groups of 4-10 members. The pride is made up of one dominant male, several females, young males and cubs. The adult females are often related to each other.
Except when hunting, lions are considered lazy, spending most of their time resting or sleeping. Hunting is a cooperative effort, usually involving the females. The male is more visible to prey because of his thick mane.
Lions are fairly docile and even-tempered except during breeding season, when they are fierce and disagreeable. The lioness goes off by herself to have the cubs, returning to the pride when they are about two months old. The lioness is usually a good mother, and other members of the pride are patient and tolerant with the cubs.
The lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away.