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- Once a lion becomes older, it becomes weaker and less able to provide for itself.
- African wild dogs are carnivorous hunters who count the lion as one of their predators, along with hyenas and humans.
- Hunting as a pack enables them to take on larger prey, such as wildebeest, but the pack in the video below made a mistake in thinking that they could take on this lion.
This is a poignant scene that captures what are probably the final months of this magnificent lion’s life. We learn from the video notes that she is called Verity and that she is already 15 years old. The life expectancy for a female lion in the wild is 15-16 years old, although male lions only live for 8-10 years. Therefore, she would not be expected to live that much longer. Lionesses in captivity, however, can live for over 20 years, and some have even reached 25 years.
It almost seems as if these wild dogs can sense that this lion is not the threat that she once was. Nevertheless, she still manages to fight them off despite her advanced age and the fact that there are many more wild dogs.
Magnificent Lioness at the End of Her Life
The lifespan of lions is dictated by several factors including food availability, natural threats, and the prevalence of disease. For male lions, the proximity of rival males can also cause sudden deaths. Once a lion becomes older, it becomes weaker and less able to provide for itself. Their birth pride may continue to provide food for them when they are no longer able to hunt but life still gets more difficult for them.
Wild Dogs as Hunters
African wild dogs are carnivorous hunters who count the lion as one of their predators, along with hyenas and humans. They roam deserts and open plains and are found in National Parks across southern Africa. As is obvious from this footage, they are highly sociable pack animals and live in groups of up to 30 individuals.
The pack does everything together, including hunting and sharing food. They also help to care for sick and young pack members. This social arrangement is achieved through communication, and some of this is verbal. We can clearly hear their distinctive calls in this footage. They also use touch and movement and will nose and lick each other and wagtails to relay information. Hunting as a pack enables them to take on larger prey, such as wildebeest, but this pack made a mistake in thinking that they could take on this lion.
Normal Enemies and Predators of Lions
The lion is a powerful predator, but even they have enemies and predators in the wild.
One of the most common enemies of the lion is the spotted hyena. These scavengers are much smaller than the lion, but they are formidable in their own right. With powerful jaws and sharp teeth, they are capable of killing small animals and can even take on adult antelopes and zebras. In some cases, hyenas have even been known to steal kills from lions.
Lions also face competition from other large predators, such as leopards and cheetahs. These animals are highly adept hunters and will often attempt to steal food and kills from lions.
In addition, lions face competition from packs of wild dogs. These animals are social creatures, and they often hunt in packs, which means they can be a formidable adversary for a lone lion. It is not uncommon for lions to come into contact with packs of wild dogs, and in some cases, they will even fight with them.
Lions: Size Over Time
Lions are among the most majestic of all the big cats. With their regal manes and strong builds, they can be incredibly impressive to behold. But just how big do lions get as they progress through life?
At birth, a lion cub is typically around 5.5 pounds and 19.6 inches long. At this stage, they are unable to walk, and their paws are relatively small in comparison to their bodies. As they grow, however, their paws will become larger, and their size will increase rapidly.
At around six months of age, a lion cub can weigh up to 66 pounds and be nearly 3.2 feet long. At this stage, their paws will have grown proportionately to their body size.
By the time a lion reaches adulthood, it can weigh anywhere between 330 and 550 pounds and be ten feet long. Their paws are also significantly larger, and they can be up to 4 inches in length.
Finally, an elderly lion can reach weights of up to 600 pounds. Their paws may become worn from years of walking, but they will still be large and impressive.
No matter the age, lions are undeniably beautiful and powerful creatures. Their size can vary significantly over the course of their life, and it is incredible to behold.
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