Table of contents:
- Where does the Asiatic lion live now?
- Predator Appearance
- Asian lion behavior
- Asiatic lion population
- Gir Nature Reserve
- African lions
- Feeding predators
- Animal roar
- Raising offspring
- How long do lions live?
- Instead of afterword
2023 Author: Henry Conors | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 12:05
Many, many centuries ago, the Asiatic lion (also called Indian) lived in a vast territory - from northeastern India to modern Italy, as well as in Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, in northern Africa, Greece. It was these animals that entered into battles with gladiators in the arenas of the amphitheaters of Rome. Hunting for predators was considered a very prestigious business, although dangerous. But another time has come. People armed themselves with more advanced weapons, and lions ceased to interest them.
Where does the Asiatic lion live now?
Currently, this ferocious beast can only be seen in one corner of the globe (in its natural environment, not counting zoos). The Asian lion lives in India, in the state of Gujarat. The area of the reserve is small - only 1,400 square kilometers.
In 2011, there were four hundred and eleven individuals in this territory. This is fifty-two lions more than in 2005, which is good news.
A very formidable animal - the Asiatic lion. Its description will not convey the power and strength that is hidden in it. This is truly a powerful and beautiful animal. Interestingly, the Asian lion is slightly smaller than the African. Their manes are also different. In "Africans" it is more magnificent. The weight of males reaches one hundred and sixty - one hundred and ninety kilograms. Females are slightly smaller, their body weight, as a rule, does not exceed one hundred and twenty kilograms.
But the growth at the withers reaches one hundred and five centimeters. Just imagine: the length of the body ranges from 2.2 to 2.4 meters. The maximum value is 2.92 meters. The color varies from brown-red to gray-sand. The Asian lion (photos are given in the article), as we can see, is a very large and strong animal.
Asian lion behavior
The Asian lion is a social animal. Predators live in family groups called prides. However, Asian flocks are small. This is due to the fact that mining in Asia is much smaller in size. This means that only two lionesses can hunt an ungulate animal, and not six. Males only protect the territory and reproduce the genus. These are their responsibilities. Only lionesses get food. So the males are pretty well settled.
Asian prides have 8-12 animals each, and African prides can have up to thirty cats (these are females, males and cubs). There can be no more than two males in a group, mostly brothers. One of them always dominates, both in combat with the enemy and in choosing a female. The basis of the pride is female individuals, who are related and, whichmost interesting, friendly relations. The group has been in existence for several years.
Pride lives in a certain territory, which he assigns to himself. Its size depends on the amount of prey, the size of the group and can cover up to four hundred square kilometers.
Males, having reached the age of two or three, leave the family. They either remain single, or unite with their peers and roam around the pride, waiting for the moment when the leader weakens, then they will capture the group and hold it for a couple of years. It is easier for several males to defend their pride than one lion.
Here, their own, often cruel laws reign… Having captured the group, the male first of all destroys the cubs. Lionesses usually cannot influence the situation. Only cubs older than one year have a chance to survive. After the death of the offspring, the female calms down after a couple of weeks and then gives birth to new cubs to the leader. This behavior of lions gives them the opportunity to acquire their own offspring. Since the leaders change every three or four years, leaving someone else's cubs to live, they simply would not have time to raise their own.
Asiatic lion population
As already mentioned, the Asiatic lion is distributed in Eurasia, in the north-east of India, in the Gir forests. After the mass extermination in the 19th century. their number dropped noticeably, in 1884 graceful handsome men were already found only in the west of Hindustan. After 14 years, the Nawab of Junagadh declared their protection.
But even today, despite all attemptssave the species, the Asiatic lion population is very low, which is a natural concern. At the end of the twentieth century, they even opened a special breeding program for animals in the forests of North America. An important factor is also the preservation of the purity (genetic) of this species. And this means that Asian and African brethren cannot be crossed, since the Asian lion is less common in nature. He may simply "get lost" among the inhabitants of the African savannah.
Gir Nature Reserve
In the Girsky reserve, success has been achieved in increasing the population of lions. The management of the state in which the reserve is located does not yet plan to transfer a single animal to the menageries of other states. Since this animal is unique, the reserve has various privileges. And if lions become common elsewhere, things could change dramatically.
In particular, you can stay without government support. However, in any case, the number of lions is gradually increasing, and therefore the time will certainly come when some of them will leave the territory of the protected area and move to new territories.
In Africa, lions lived well until the beginning of the twentieth century. When safaris of European guests came into fashion, there was a thoughtless extermination of many animals. In general, the decrease in the number of the species occurred much earlier, during the period of the appearance of firearms.
In general, the most favorable habitat for lions is the savannah, landscapewhich is open and perfectly visible, which means it is convenient for hunting. These lands are rich in watering places and prey. However, lions can adapt to any conditions. Lack of food and sustenance will not lead to extinction. Until the time came for their total extermination, the animals lived quietly in the semi-deserts, and in the foothills, and on the hot coasts.
Usually the Asiatic lion rests in the shade during the day and hunts at night. Prey for him are zebras, antelopes, warthogs. Ninety percent of all food is obtained by lionesses. Males are larger and therefore not so successful in hunting, but they begin to eat first, while driving away females and cubs. Lionesses from the same pride hunt together and act very well together.
Not all attacks are successful, but a female needs up to five kilograms of meat a day, a male - seven. Lions can not eat for three days. But then, when they get food, they can eat up to thirty kilograms at a time. During or after a meal, animals are sure to quench their thirst.
When a period of drought comes, most ungulates leave to look for water, and predators begin to hunt small animals, crocodiles and even snakes. They are able to eat carrion. Their food system is such that the strongest eats. During the dry season, members of the same pride fight each other for every bone.
The lion's roar is perhaps the most formidable and terrible of all the sounds made by wild animals. It can be heard over long distances (up to nine kilometers). Usually at sunsetthe sun, the lions announce their roar throughout the district, as if saying that the territory is occupied.
Reproduction in lions occurs at certain times of the year, usually during the rainy season. Pregnancy of the female lasts 110 days. Before the birth of the babies, she goes away from the family, into the thickets. Usually a maximum of four babies are born.
Lion cubs are born blind, weighing two kilograms. Already at six weeks they run around the den. During this period, the female guards her babies especially strongly. Cautious, she changes shelter every few days, dragging the cubs with her. Later, the female returns to her pride with her cubs. Lionesses feed milk not only to their babies, but also to strangers.
They are generally very good-natured and caring towards their offspring. At the age of fourteen weeks, lion cubs go hunting with their mothers. So far, they are only watching the process from the sidelines. But in a year they can already get their own food. However, they become more independent by sixteen months. Young lions leave the family at three or four years old, females, as a rule, remain in the pride.
How long do lions live?
Oddly enough, but lionesses live longer than males, perhaps this is due to the fact that they are protected by the pride. The lions, having lost their strength, leave the family and live out their lives alone, in not entirely favorable conditions. Life expectancy for lionesses is fifteen to sixteen years, and males in rare cases live up to twelve.
Instead of afterword
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