How are lions protected

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The lion is one of the most charismatic predators and - after the tiger - the second largest cat in the world. An adult male can weigh more than 250 kilograms and is easily recognizable by his mane that covers his head and shoulders. A long mane makes the lion appear more imposing towards its enemies and the females prefer males with a dark mane. Lions are the only members of the Felidae family that have obvious sex differences: females have no manes and are about 30% smaller.

In contrast to other cats, lions mostly live in packs. A pride of lions is made up of related females, their offspring, and a small number of adult males. When a new male lion fights for dominance in the pack, it kills the young animals that are still dependent on the mother animal, although the lionesses try with all their might to protect their children. The reason for this behavior is that after the loss of the cubs, the lionesses are ready to mate again more quickly and so the dominant male can pass on his own genes and does not have to raise the offspring of his predecessor. Female lions become sexually mature at three to four - male lions at five to six years of age and live in the wild for about ten to sixteen years (the information on this varies greatly depending on the source).

Lions like to roam the grasslands of the savannah, but they are also at home in the bushland. Typically, the females hunt together and lie in wait for their prey, the large ungulates, at night. In Africa, lions feed mainly on wildebeest, warthogs, zebras, waterbucks and giraffes. After they have ambushed their prey, the lions pounce on the animals with a short powerful leap, pull them to the ground and suffocate them with a bite in the throat.