The male lion has been called the “King of the Jungle”, but does he live up to the name? The male lion is a magnificent animal that appears as a symbol of power, courage and nobility on family crests and national flags in many civilizations. His job is to watch over the “Pride”. But the female lioness is formidable as well.
The King of the Jungle
A male cat can stand 4-5 feet tall and weight in at 500 lbs. He is well know for his strength and intimidating size. The female lion is formidable as well even at around 200 lbs. Her job is to do most of the work around camp. Both are built for different jobs one being smaller, faster and more cunning while the other is about brute strength and protection.
How a Pride Works
The female lioness does most of the work around camp and about 90 percent of the pride’s hunting. The male lion patrols the territory and protects the pride, for which he takes the “lion’s share” of the females’ prey. This hardly seems fair, but when in the savanna the lion makes the rules, not the lioness. In our estimation the “King of the Jungle” lives up to his name. But the lioness performs a very important part too, and without the team effort there would be no “Pride” to watch over. When it comes to food, each lion looks out for itself. Squabbling is common, with adult lions usually eating first, followed by the lioness and then the cubs. Males defend their territory, be it open woodland or scrub, by marking the area, roaring to promote fear and to chase off intruders.
Observing Lions in the Wild
Lions are the laziest of the big cats which makes them easy prey for safari travelers wondering eyes. When resting, lions seem to enjoy good fellowship with lots of touching, head rubbing, licking and purring. They can be spotted perched on small hill tops for a better view with the pride nearby for protection. They spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping and resting, devoting the remaining hours to hunting, courting or protecting their territory. They keep in contact with one another by roaring loud enough to be heard up to five miles away. During a game drive this can be unnerving to hear but it makes your realize there is nothing quite like a Tanzania safari to make your feel alive.