Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wonderfully Wild Wednesday: Social lions

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson, Communications




Unlike the largely solitary snow leopard or jaguar, lions are the most social of the big cats, regularly living in groups known as prides.

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Lions live in matriarchal societies, where lionesses make up the majority of the pride and take on various group responsibilities. In most prides, lionesses live among their cubs, sisters and female cousins. A few males live within the group, though most are unrelated.

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Lionesses are slender, making them more agile and faster than the males, which is helpful since the females are the primary hunters within the pride. While females hunt, the males guard their territory and protect the cubs from larger predators. Once old enough, male offspring will be run out of the pride and forced to join a bachelor pride until they can dominate a pride of their own.

Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Have you visited the lion cubs yet? They are now on exhibit, weather dependent, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily in the lion viewing shelter in the award-winning African Savanna exhibit. Viewing hours may vary; check at the zoo entrance for updates upon your arrival. And don't forget--we're still looking for names for two of the cubs. Enter the naming contest by March 15!

4 comments:

  1. I visited the lion den when the sun was shining & the little cubs were endlessly entertaining, playing just like kittens & seeming to enjoy all the stimulation. What a great family to watch & appreciate!

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  3. My son wants to know why Hubert is now in a different exhibit than Adina and the cubs. Could you explain for us? Thank you!

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    1. Adia is a very protective mom and hasn't been too welcome to the idea of Hubert being around her cubs. We're taking our cues from the animals on this one and letting this move at a pace at which they are comfortable. In the meantime, Hubert is spending his time with his other gal pal, Kalissa.

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