The second largest cat in the world after the tiger is the lion: king of the jungle. The heaviest lion ever recorded, weighed an amazing 826 pounds (375 kilograms).The lion is a nocturnal animal in a variety of habitats. If you think babies can be noisy, then think again. The loudest scream performed by Jill Drake was 129 dB (decibels). Anything above 120 dB becomes physically painful. The largest sound comes from the largest animal in the world (the whale), at 230 dB with a clicking noise that lasts for only 15 to 30 milliseconds. The roar of a lion can be heard from 8 kilometres at 110 dB. Lions rest for roughly twenty hours everyday.
A lion can breed with a tiger, jaguar and leopard. Most hybrids would not be perpetuated in the wild as males, as they are usually infertile. Liguaress is the offspring of a lion and jaguaress, while leopard and jaguaress offspring is called leguaress. While it may seem fun to see one of these breeds, advocates of big cats say this hybridisation has a dark side. In a Russian zoo, a female liger mated with a male lion and gave birth to a liligerian in 2012.
Cats don’t love water, both the wild and the domestic ones. On the other hand, tigers happily use it to cool off or hunt their next meal. Although in Botswana (Dupa plains), the lions have learned to thrive in nutritious grasses and permanent water, they have also adapted to hunt during the day (usually prides hunt at night and sleep during the day). Lions in Namibia are some of the most fascinating on earth, known as dessert lion, surviving in severe landscape where vegetation and prey are few and far between. The lions roam in Namibia desert and have adapted remarkably to this situation.
Lion sightseeing is quite remarkable, especially when they clash with hyenas for food and territory. It’s one of the most dramatic actions seen among predators. 10% of the world’s remaining lion population in in Tanzania. Chances are you will have a lion sighting completely to yourself at Ruaha park in Tanzania. Although I wouldn’t dare try that myself, it’s amazing to watch only if we are a lot of people. At the end it’s not like a movie, so there’s a big chance that I will be able to see. In Kenya, we have the BBC nature documentary series, Big Cat Diary. The show is amazing, though one will argue that seeing is believing. Imagine you are a lion and your survival depends on the availability of suitable food, how does a million wildebeest sound to you. Joined by tens of thousands of zebras and gazelles, it must be quite a show.