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Interesting Facts About Lions & Cubs

Lion is a large cat of the genus Panthera native to Africa and India. lions represent courage, strength, and power more than any other animal in the wilderness. They are the most sedentary of the big cats – sleeping or resting up to 20 hours a day. They can be found lying on their backs with their feet up or sleeping in the shade. They are very affectionate towards one another while lazing around, rubbing heads, grooming, and purring.

Most widely recognized animal symbols around the world, the lion has been extensively depicted in sculptures and paintings, on national flags, and in contemporary films. Lions have been a key species for exhibition in zoo.

Largest lion ever recorded weighed 690 pounds!

The biggest lion ever recorded weighed 827 pounds. He was witnessed in captivity at Ireland’s Dublin Zoo in 1959. This lion was almost 10 feet long in length. For perspective, the largest wolf ever recorded weighed “just” 175 pounds.

Ancient lions could reach even larger sizes. The American lion, which went extinct about 11,000 years ago could have reached up to 1,153 pounds!

lion hunt

The world’s most famous lion survived a plane crash!

MGM ( Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer ) lion roaring at the beginning of the films. MGM trademarked the lion in 1916, and it has been an iconic feature at the beginning of their films since then. You might not know that the MGM lion survived a plane crash! In 1927, MGM was flying their lion mascot across the country to raise their publicity when tragedy struck and the flight from San Diego to New York carrying the lion crushed Amazingly, the lion survived the crash and survived for four days until rescued. During the time it fed on sandwiches and milk from the crashed plane.

He became known as “Leo the Lucky” and survived a number of other mishaps including a sinking ship, an explosion in the MGM studio, and multiple train wrecks.

life baby lions is touch

lion cubs

Cubs follow their mothers at about three months of age and are weaned by six or seven months. They begin participating in hunts by 11 months but still they cannot survive on their own until they are two years old.

When lion cubs are born, they are very small, and their eyes are closed until they are two to three weeks old. Even then, they can not see properly for another few weeks.  They are vulnerable to attack from large birds, snakes and even male lions. Their mother will keep her cubs hidden from other lions for around six weeks until they are old enough to follow the pride. Lion cubs are full of life and grow up playing with the other youngsters in the pride. 

Lion cubs are born with spots & blue eyes, but they lose both when they become adults

lion cubs eyes

Lion cubs have a much different appearance than adult lions. For one, their eyes at birth are blue, but as they age their eye color will turn to brown. Also, baby lions have “rosettes” or spots similar to a leopard. However, once the lion reaches adulthood the spots will fade away leaving a more uniform skin. lion cubs on average weigh just 3 pounds and grow to reach in excess of 250 pounds (females are closer to 290 while males reach beyond 410 pounds), their appearance changes much more than growing.

Lions, tigers, and bears can become best friends!

lion tiger and bear

In 2001, After police raided a house, they found the criminal kingpin was illegally keeping a lion, tiger, and bear cub that were all malnourished. The three cubs were taken to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary, where they recovered from their poor care.

what’s amazing is that the three apex predators had bonded during the experience and became “friends” for life. They lived in the same environment and maintained an incredible bond until the passing of Leo the lion and Shair Khan the tiger. Today, only Baloo the bear is alive. He attended the funerals of both his friends and will be buried next to them so the trio can remain together for good.

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