Where Do Lions Live
Lions, also known as the ‘king of the jungle’ – are symbolic of might, courage, and strength. Lions once roamed much of Africa, Europe, and Asia before disappearing from 94% of their historic range. They are now found mainly in India and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Where do the lions live? African lions live across Central and West Africa- Benin, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Burkina, Chad, Gabon, and Senegal. In East- Africa, they reside in- Kenya, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
They also roam around Southern Africa in- Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland. The Asiatic lions are now only in India’s Gir Forest National Park in the country’s western state of Gujrat.
Lions mainly make their habitat in open environments like savanna, grasslands, open woodlands, and dense scrub- where they can easily hunt for their prey. However, lions can also grow in habitats where there is an abundant cover for tracking and denning- except for deserts and tropical rainforests.
The Gir Forest National Park – home of the Asiatic lions, has scrub jungle, deciduous forests, rocky hills, and grasslands. The lions live mainly in their inhabitation across the scrub forest areas and the savanna.
Savannas are typically an area of land covered mostly by long grass with very few trees around. During the day, the climate is scorching for most of the year, followed by a short rainy season.
Lions live in unique groups known as ‘pride.’ And each pride marks their territory by laying their scent around. And these territories are used by the lion prides for hunting and inhabiting. The regions where the lions dwell depend on one main thing, i.e., food. The size of the territories depends upon how much food is in it.
With abundant prey, their domains can be as small as 20 sq./km, and on sparse areas where food is less, it can be as large as 400 sq./km. Usually, a lion’s prey like Zebra, Deer, etc., are very good at hiding, and this makes the pride to walk a long way for hunting. So, the longer they walk, the bigger their territory becomes. Each pride usually defends their spot with the male Lion roaring to scare off other intruding pride and animals.
In some cases, they even fight with other lion prides to keep their territory. Some lion prides are known to stay in a region for decades by passing it on to the other females. The male lions leave their mark by defecation, urinating on trees and bushes to leave behind a pungent smell.
Lions can survive without water for a long time, but they do like being close to areas where there is a water source- especially during the hot summer periods. It also makes it easy for them to sneak on their prey when other animals come for the water.
A lion typically breeds in captivity, whereas in the wild, they breed once in two years. Lions are polygamous, but female lions breed with only one or two adult males from their pride.