The Pride of the Kruger National Park
Out of all of the many, many animals in the Kruger Park, there are very few that are as synonymous and iconic to the Kruger National Park, than the Lion. The Lion is a powerful member of the Feline family and is also the second largest member of the family. The lion has been crowned as the king of the Jungle as it is powerful and provides a menacing feeling when in an area. Let us investigate and explore this majestic and powerful member of the Kruger National Park.
The Lion is a large cat that stands at 1.2m tall at the shoulders and weighs up to 200kgs.The females weigh slightly less than the males at 130kg. Both the males and females have a dusty tawny coat colour. The male has a very iconic mane that is hair that is much longer on the cheeks, chin and neck, that is found only seen on a Lion Male. With some Lion Males, their mane can be almost black in colour aside from the normal darker colour. The females have spots and rosettes on their undersides that can still stay with them to adulthood.
Lions are powerful carnivores that feed on large animals such s Buffalo, Wildebeest, Gemsbok and Zebra. Smaller prey like impala, porcupines and steenbok are all easy prey that are hunted when no large food animals are available. Lions hunt in large packs that are mainly full of females. These females will travel the savannah looking for prey. The females will stay in the tall grass, using their tawny skin to stay concealed. The lions will split up allowing them to flank their prey when the ambush takes place. Lion males will feast on the prey first and only after the males are done, will the females and cubs have time to feed.
Lions are non seasonal breeders and some of the few species where the females usually synchronize their births. Lions have a gestation period 110 days and can give birth to up to 4 cubs in a litter. All the females in the pride form a nursery where they take care of each other’s cubs. The Prides consists of dominant males and up to 12 females and their cubs. Lion males have a very impressive and intimidating roar that can be heard up to 5 km away. Lions communicate using mainly sound, using a variety if roars and grunts to convey a message as well as using scents to mark areas. Lions prefer sub Saharan areas that have plenty of cover like tall grass, bushes, rocks and trees which lions require to effectively ambush and hunt their prey. The Sub Saharan areas of the Kruger Park has a large gathering of animals that provide a decent and semi reliable source of food and also has great cover from the intense heat and also has enough watering holes to satiate