Reproduction: Sexual maturity occurs at three to four years of age. Wild animals exhibit an early maturity than the captive specimens. Males start breeding between
four and six years. In captivity, lions may breed every year, but in the wild they
usually breed once in two years. The cubs are born round the year. A pair may
copulate several times a day. Usually two to three cubs (range 1-6) are born by
the female after a gestation period of 92-119 days. The new born cub weighs
about 450 g. The fully furred young have a dark spotted coat marking and this
usually disappears with the advancement of age. The teeth start to appear at
about three weeks of age. The young become independent when they are 1.5 to 2
years of age.
Behaviour: Among all the felids, lions are the most social animals. They live in family prides of 2-4 dominant males, several adult females, a number of subadults and cubs. They maintain their territories by urine markings, patrolling or by roaring. They are known to hunt in packs comprising mostly of females, and sometimes the pack may go up to thirty individuals in one encounter. Lions are mostly hunt during the day. An interesting behaviour of the lion is that an established adult male in a pride usually behaves friendly towards the females and the cubs. However, a newly introduced male, on the other hand, is reported to kill at least some of the cubs in the pride where he takes it over. A lion normally eats the hind quarters first followed by the forequarters and finally the head of the prey. When many lions are present to one kill, the kill is torn to pieces.
Life span: In the wild lions normally live for 15 years, while in captivity the life span may reach up to 25 years.