Lion * Leeu * Panthera Leo

The lion is rivalled only by the tiger in length, weight, and height at the shoulder. They weigh 118.37–143.52 kg (261.0–316.4 lb) in Southern Africa.

A lion's pride consists of a few adult males, related females, and cubs. Groups of female lions usually hunt together. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1996 because populations in African countries have declined by about 43% since the early 1990s.
Male Lion
Cat Kat
Female Lion
In Africa, the range of the lion originally spanned most of the central African rainforest zone and the Sahara desert. In the 1960s, it became extinct in North Africa, except in the southern part of Sudan.

Lions spend much of their time resting; they are inactive for about twenty hours per day. Although lions can be active at any time, their activity generally peaks after dusk with a period of socialising, grooming and defecating. Intermittent bursts of activity continue until dawn, when hunting most often takes place.

The average pride consists of around 15 lions, including several adult females and up to four males and their cubs of both sexes. Males associated with a pride tend to stay on the fringes, patrolling their territory. Single lions are capable of bringing down zebra and wildebeest, while larger prey like buffalo and giraffe are riskier.

Estimates of the African lion population ranged between 16,500 and 47,000 living in the wild in 2002–2004. In the Republic of the Congo, Odzala-Kokoua National Park was considered a lion stronghold in the 1990s. By 2014, no lions were recorded in the protected area so the population is considered locally extinct.

Lions do not usually hunt humans but some (usually males) seem to seek them out. One well-publicised case is the Tsavo maneaters; in 1898, 28 officially recorded railway workers building the Kenya-Uganda Railway were taken by lions over nine months during the construction of a bridge in Kenya.

Called a "Leeu" in Afrikaans.