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The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the five big cats in the genus Panthera. Some males can exceed 250kg making it the second largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. They are classified as a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List. Lions typically inhabit savannah and grassland, and prides consist of related females and their offspring and a small number of adult males. They are apex predators and hunt mainly at night, sleeping during the day.
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Photo 1. The African lion is an iconic species of the African bush. This is one of a coalition of five young male lions known as the Birmingham Five at Sabi Sands game reserve, South Africa.
Photo 2. The male lion is easily recognise by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised symbols in human culture.
Photo 3. Lions, particularly males, are very lazy and spend the majority of their time sleeping.
Photo 4. Lions can often be found sleeping in the shade under a tree, but they will also make use of other objects to sleep on, such as this log.
Photo 5. Lions usually sleep during the day and rise at dusk to hunt, a process that invariably involves a lot of yawning!
Photo 6. African nights can be chilly, and lions enjoy warming themselves in the morning sunshine.
Photo 7. Lions are sociable and playful animals, and enjoy rolling in the earth.
Photo 8. More often than not, a lion will be sleeping, but sometimes they will amble over to other members of their pride to socialise and reinforce their bond.
Photo 9. After sleeping through a hot day, lions refresh themselves by drinking plenty before hunting at night.
Photo 10. In game reserves in south and eastern Africa, lions can be viewed safely from a game viewer. The lions are accustomed to the vehicles and do not consider them a threat.
Photo 11. In a pride, it is the lionesses who commonly hunt, and they can take on prey as large as this cape buffalo.
Photo 12. Lions are immensely strong. This lioness was able to drag a half-consumed buffalo to a better location to eat.
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