November 16, 2012

Fight For Life: Born Predator Facts

  • Following a pride take-over, females give birth to a litter of more males than females. The reason for this is to ensure there is a decent sized male cohort of juveniles that are all related to one another when it is time to leave the pride. Male survival and chance of taking over a pride is considerably higher with 3 or more males.

  • Infanticide is thought to be responsible for >25% of cub mortality.

  • Typically, male tenure of a pride will last between 2-3 years.

  • Like human fingerprints, the lion's whisker spot patterns never change throughout life and are unique.

  • Often, cubs born to females who were/are pregnant at the time of a pride take-over do not survive.

  • Young males must leave their pride when they are three. These single lions, known as nomadic males, graze through the plains until they are sexually mature, which is around the age of five.

  • Whereas young males are evicted from prides when they reach maturity. Females tend to stay with their maternal groups for life. Those females that do choose to leave the maternal group are rarely accepted by another unrelated pride.

  • An adult lion's roar can be heard up to five miles away.

  • A lion's eyesight is five times better than a human being.

  • Young cubs are vulnerable to predation by hyenas, leopards and black-backed jackals.

  • The cubs begin hunting at 11 months but remain with their mother for at least two years.

  • Although only one out of four hunting events is successful, dominant males always eat first, lionesses next, and cubs scramble for scraps and leftovers.

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