The lion is the largest of Africa’s big cats, and is reverently referred to as the “King of the Jungle” or “King of the Beasts”. In Kenya, you can see these creatures while on an African lion safari in Amboseli or Maasai Mara or by visiting one of Kenya’s national parks and reserves.
Unlike other big cats that prefer to live solitarily, African lions are social animals. A group of lions, called a pride, may consist of 15 to 20 members, with up to three males. Male lions can be recognized by the long mane of hair that covers their necks.
Within the pride, the lionesses do most of the hunting while the male lions defend the group’s territory. When hunting, lionesses approach their prey stealthily before springing upon them and killing them with a strong bite to the neck. If the prey escapes before the lioness springs an attack, the lioness will not give a chase for long. This apparent lack of endurance has given African lions a reputation of being lazy.
African lions only hunt when they are hungry. After a meal, a lion can spend an entire day sleeping and resting in the shadows of the Acacia trees. Lions prefer to hunt and eat wildebeests, zebras, buffalos, and antelopes, particularly savoring the large oryx antelope species. You can imagine the surprise when an extraordinary lioness in Samburu National Park adopted and cared for six baby oryx in one year.