11 December, 2010

King and Queen of Beasts

Lion is the second largest animal from the cat family after tiger. Lions live in groups, called 'prides'. They can be found in jungles, rocky grasslands and desert areas. But except for African animal parks, there are few places left in the world where lions still roam freely. Wild lions are found only in Sub-Saharan region of Africa and in the Gir Forest National Park in north-western India. According to the scientists and experts until the last 10,000 years lion was the most widely populated mammal on earth  after human beings. A wide variety of them was found in almost every continent of earth. 
Each pride of lions is made up of a few lionesses of different ages (all related to each other), plus their cubs, and one or two adult male lions. Number of the members of a pride may vary from  as few as 4 to as many as 37, but about 15 to 20 is the usual number. Elderly lions live in separate groups normally away from other prides.
During the day lions lie in the shade or climb trees and rest on the branches. But they become very active at night. Because of this habit some people name them as the beasts of night.
As for the life span of a lion , wild animals may live from 11 to 14 years in the jungle but in captivity they may live up to 20 years. According to some reports male lions in the wild seldom cross the life span of 10 years as continuous struggle for survival and combats with other male lions of the pride affects their longevity severely.   
As compared to other cats, lion is a social animal thats why female lions hunt in herds. Another fact to show their immensely social behavior is that female lions, after killing their prey, leave it for the male lion to eat to his fill. After the male lions, its the turn of cubs to satisfy their appetite. Turn of the lionesses comes in the last. Some people compare this behavior to that of a women about her husband and kids. 
Like other cats, they can see well in dim light and like to hunt in the dark. Lions hunt grazing animals, such as zebras, antelopes, buffaloes, and gazelles. But when they are hungry, are cornered or in a challenge to protect their cubs , they don't hesitate to attack human beings, therefore, never try to confront a hungry lion.
Most lions that live near villages may carry away donkeys, goats, or even small cows. Imagine how strong a lion's teeth and neck have to be to lift a cow over a fence and run away.
A male lion is usually identified by the big and majestic fur collar around its neck called 'mane', and by the dark tuft of hair on its tail. Females are the same sandy colour as males, but they are a little smaller. Lion cubs have dark spots when they are born but with growing age these spots begin to disappear.
Lions are mostly considered to roar only, but they also growl, grunt, and cough. Sometimes they even purr like giant cats.
Their tongue is so rough that it could lick the skin off your body.
According to researchers it is quite safe to keep a lion's cubs as pet but when they grow up its better to send them to animal sanctuaries or zoos otherwise they may prove dangerous.
Interesting Facts about Lions:

  • The roar of a male lion can be heard from a distance of, as much as, five miles.
  • The largest lion till date was almost 11 feet long and weighed nearly 700 pounds.
  • Lions do not eat an entire kill in most of the cases. Other predators, like hyenas and vultures, have been known to enjoy feast on the kill of a lion.

10 October, 2010

About Me

I am a Journalist from Lahore, Pakistan with a good deal of experience in Journalism and feature writing. I have also been working with a well known Pakistani publishing house for about two years. For the last few months I am aspiring to develop good website or blog for me to check my writing skills and this blog is a means to materialize this dream. I have no idea whether I'll be able to develop it to the extent I wish or not , but still I want to put as much  effort as I find time.

Thanx for being patient.