How long do lions live?
The lion is often called the king of the jungle. It seems that people have always been fascinated by the strength, elegance, nobility and courage of these animals. Even though the lion is smaller compared to the largest tigers (Amur and Siberian tigers), it is still a very big wild cat. A male lion weight between 450 and 500 lbs and female lions around 300 lbs. Most of their body consists of muscles.
It is interesting that just like domestic cats, lions spend most of their days resting and napping. According to some studies, they are active for only 4 hours a day. It is not uncommon for lions to be active at any part of the day, however, in most cases, they are active between dusk and dawn.
This is the period of the day when they are grooming, socializing and hunting too. They spend less than an hour a day on eating. Unlike other wild felids, lions are very sociable animals. They live and work as teams (pride). An ordinary pride includes 5-6 females, 1-2 males, and a few cubs. The hunting is usually conducted by female lions, and the defense of the pride is the male’s job.
When it comes to the life expectancy of lions it is worth mentioning that this is something that is not easy to determine. For instance, a few decades ago, their life expectancy was very low because lions were captured and killed in almost every place where they’ve lived without any control. Fortunately, the situation is different nowadays and this is the reason why their life span is increased.
The unofficial records are showing that lions live between 10 and 16 years when they are left in the wild. But these numbers are usually correct for lionesses. The lifespan of male lions is much shorter – somewhere between 8 and 10 years. There is a good reason why this is happening. When lions start to age and notice a decline in their performance, invading males challenge them. In most cases, the older lions are ousted from their pride and replaced by younger and stronger male lions. These older lions are usually left alone wandering. It is very difficult to survive without any help from the rest of the pride not only because they are older, but because they are used to finish specific tasks within the pride.
The situation is completely different when they are kept in zoos and even in homes of some people. When they live in captivity, lions can live to 25 years although there are official records of older lions too. This time, we are talking about both male and female lions. In the zoos, the young and old male lions are kept in different places without physical contact between them. Of course, it’s not just the different structure of the pride that makes lions live longer in captivity. They are also fed with the best food that meets their dietary needs.