(Panthera leo)

The lion is the second largest predator cat with a body length of around two metres. They live up to their reputation as king of the animals due to their considerable size and mighty hunger – a fully-grown lion devours up to 40 kg of meat per meal.


Africa and Asia (India)

Savannahs, semi-deserts, bush and dry forest landscapes

Hoofed animals and big game such as zebras, antelopes, buffaloes or wild pigs

23,000 to 39,000 worldwide

1.70 to 1.90 m (shoulder height: 0.80 to 1.10 m)

Males approx. 225 kg, females approx. 150 kg

Gestation time:
3.5 to 4 months

Achievable age
Over 20 years

What to know about lions
Unlike other cat species, lions lead a sociable life in prides. Around three fully grown dominant males usually live together with up to ten females and their offspring. While the lionesses stay faithful to the herd, dominant males are driven out by their younger rivals after 2–4 years.

Lion mothers stick together
A lioness can bear up to six offspring away from the pride and initially suckles them alone. After around 6–8 weeks she returns back to the pride with her litter, where the 'aunts' are already waiting. All the other lion mothers lend a 'paw' in helping the new lion mother out by suckling the little ones and taking care of them so that she doesn't have to fend for herself – a true 'feline nursery'.

Sleepy contemporaries
The mainly nocturnal lions prefer to hunt during the night and spend the majority of the day sleeping in a shady area. Yet this sluggish behaviour does in no way mean that visitors to the zoo will end up with long faces, since the later feedings of the predators will show us some action, eventually revealing the imposing nature of the big cats.

Is it true, that ...?

Shakespeare referred to the typical characteristic of a lion as far back as in 1596 with his comedy 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Using his notorious words 'Well roared, lion!', you can (playfully) pay tribute to someone using the boisterous remarks today. And while it is true that the roar of a lion is impressive, it can also be heard at a distance of up to eight kilometers away. There's no question that the master of the savannah is on the prowl.