Scientific name:

Panthera leo

 

What makes it special:

Often referred to as the king of animals, this is one of the Big Five and the second largest cat after the tiger. Taking it down is a truly unique experience.

 

Recommended caliber:

.375 H&H is the minimum as with all the Big Five. 

Hunt the king of animals. Perhaps the most extraordinary experience for any hunter

Lions are easily recognized on their characteristic face with a frontal region more depressed and flattened than that of a tiger. Also, the adult male is differentiated from other cats through the thick black or brown mane. This animal is both diurnal and nocturnal but mainly hunt at night. It’s a carnivore on top of the food chain and will eat virtually anything if it is hungry, also carrion. Found in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where they mainly live on the savannah.

 

Hunting a lion or lioness has always been a treasured and appealing hunting experience for almost any type of hunter, seasoned hunters as well as inexperienced hunters. The trophy is a priced possession, but can never be matched with the thrill of the hunt. Hunting lions has always been dangerous and requires skills as well as agility to take down what is known as the king of the jungle. For you as a hunter, it is vital to know the difference between hunting a lion and a lioness. The two sexes are using very different hunting methods and so should you.

 

 

Hunting method

two lionsA typical hunt is walk-and-stalk and very action packed when the encounter occurs. This cat is unpredictable, nimble and fast, meaning you should have the utmost respect for it. If you don’t kill it in the first shot, it will be very vindictive. If wounded it can lie in wait and suddenly charge at great speed, targeting just one person in the hunting party with the intent to kill. A male you haven’t done harm to can sometimes be scared of if you come across it unprepared, but be very careful with the more aggressive females, especially if they have cubs.

 

Lions are regarded as the lazy ones between the sexes, if possible they will spend almost twenty hours of their day sleeping. They largely prefer to inhabit wooded savannah grasslands, meaning that hunting them during the summer is very difficult as the mane camouflages well with the underlying undergrowth. Some say that lions have a sixth sense and going undetected is almost impossible. When you do get a chance to shoot, using a .375 caliber rifle may seem too much, but it will guarantee you an instant kill. Although lions overheat fast because of their large manes, they can cover a hundred yards in less than five seconds. 

 

The lionesses are accustomed to hunting for themselves and protecting their cubs, they are much more alert than their male counterparts. However hunting them is relatively easier, as they prefer savannah grasslands, making it a whole lot easier to spot them. On the other hand they have amazing cooperation and communication skills with other lionesses and therefore the hunter can soon find that he is the hunted one. When hunting a lioness, bait usually never works as they prefer making their own fresh kills. For an instant kill, shooting preference should be at the chest just above the forelimbs just where the throat attaches with the body; this is the location of the heart.

 

   

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Know the animal

Appearance

At the age of 2-3 years, the males develop manes. Some males, however, stay maneless like the females, but their size and muscle structure still distinguish them from the females, who are significantly smaller.

 

Habitat

Living on the savannah, in grasslands, dense bush and woodlands. They are able to go through deserts without water for long periods of time, but prefer to stay near water and drink regularly. Staying close to water also increases the density of prey.

 

Diet

They prey on assorted kinds of animals, e.g. antelope, zebra giraffe, wildebeest, impala and buffalo. When foods are scarce, they can even hunt an elephant. Lions also feed on smaller animals like birds and reptiles. After a hunt, which is usually done at night, lions eat all parts of the prey from skin to flesh, everything at the same time. This way it might consume up to ¼ of its own body weight in a single meal.

 

Predators

At top of the food chain, the grown-ups have no natural enemies; armed humans are their only real threat. Struggles for power between lions is, however, also a major killer.

 

Behavior

A female is generally more aggressive than a male, and is even more dangerous when she has cubs. The smaller and faster females do most of the hunting while the males protect the territory and the cubs. Lions hunt together and live in social groups called prides, unlike the rest of the cat family. They can live for up to two weeks without food and usually sleeps up to 20 hours every day.

 

Life cycle

Typically lives for 10-14 years in nature. Since they have no enemies besides humans, fights among themselves, hunting accidents and diseases account for most deaths. Mortality is high up to two years of age. They breed throughout the year and the gestation time is about 102 days.

one lion

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Animal Facts

Weight and shoulder height

Male: 181-227 kg.

Female: 113-152 kg.

Shoulder height: 91-120 cm.

 

Habitat

Lives on the savannah, in grasslands, dense bush and woodlands.

 

Diet

Prey on assorted kinds of animals, e.g. antelope, zebra giraffe, wildebeest, impala and buffalo. It can consume up to one fourth of its own body weight in a single feeding.

 

Predators

Their position at the top of the food chain means they have no natural enemies, at least not when grown up. Therefore armed humans are their only real threat.

 

Life cycle

Typically live for 10-14 years in nature.

a single lion

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