The Panthera Leo is a species that consists of Lions, the king of the jungle that we heard from our childhood. The lions are the animals that are the second cat family predator and the first one to be Tigers. The lions, the species that are at the top of the food chain, do their own roles to stabilize the food chain and nature. Let’s move on with the details about the Panthera leo.
The lion pampering a cub.
The Panthera leo is a sub-species of the Lion group which is present in West Africa, Central Asia, and India. Their other name is Northern Lion. The three countries’ populations of lions are genetically the same and don’t differ much. The lion species has been reduced in the world with a total count of 20,000. Asia’s only hope of Panthera Leo survival is Gir national park situated in India. More than 300 lions are in the park. By the low count, it is considered to be on the Endangered species list. The Panthera leo is classified into two subspecies. P. I . Leo and P. I.melanochaita by the cat classification task force. The p. I. Leo subclade contains the Barbary lions of North Africa which are extinct. The other two species are situated in West Africa and Central Africa.
The West African Lion species consist of less than 250 in their count. They have a weight of around 120-200 kgs in weight and they grow at a height of 120cms. They are slightly bigger than the female ones. But the female outlives the male one with a difference of 8 more years normally lived in the forest. The Panthera Leo choose their habitat in a place where the prey count is higher, has higher altitudes, and lives in a semi-desert environment. But they prefer Grasslands, Savanna, dense scrub, and open woodland.
The Apex predator can’t be hunted by the animals in the forest. But the people’s motive of expanding their development by cutting down trees and building makes the Panthera Leo lose the habitat and for other animals too. The reduction in the count of prey makes the Lion suffer from hunger. Some of the Lion species starved to death because of nothing to hunt for food.
- Trophy hunting in which the lions which lose their fear over the human beings are fenced in an environment which is a private hunting farm in which people hunt down the big cats and take them as a trophy. These are some of the reasons the population is reduced.
- Illegal hunting by the hunters in the forest is another reason for the reduction in the population of lions. This has happened for the First Apex predator Tiger.
The characteristics of the lion are as follows:
- The lion’s fur varies from light buff to dark brown in color.
- It has a rounded ear and a black tail tuft.
- The weight differs from male to female.
- The skeletal muscles make up to 58% of the lion’s weight.
- The cub has wooly fur that is grayish in color and they have spots in their stomach.
- The adult lions have short tawny hair with orange-brown or silver-grey colors.
Interesting facts to know about Lions:
The following describes the lion’s nature of thinking and the things people wonder about.
- Lions are very social compared to other big cats.
- Female lions are attracted to the darker and denser manes of male lions.
- The national animals of Albania, England, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Singapore.
- A male lion’s roar can be heard for around 8km.
- Lions have a terrific night vision. They are more sensitive to light than humans.
- The lions go hunting in pride but a single lion will kill the prey.
- The females are the ones who hunt their prey and the male assists a little.
These lions are really helpful in the food chain process because they keep the population in control of herbivores. If the herbivore population increases more than the limit the food available for animals and people will reduce. Some cubs are stolen from the mothers for the humans for petting, feeding, and cuddling. Once they reach a height when the people lose control, they are sent to a zoo or left in the forest.
The three easy ways to save the lions from extinction are
- Adopting a cub is useful for the organization to use the money for making essential steps for the prevention of extinction. The people are able to get an update of how their money is spent. And people can have a wonderful and happy time with a little cub and its cute roar.
- Donation of money to sanctuaries and Ngo’s.
- Spreading the news about the extinction can gain some interest for some people to come forward to help.
These are the ways we can prevent extinction and we can have a stable nature and a food chain.
By –Mukesh Kumar U.M.