So before you join us in Africa for your volunteer adventure of a lifetime, getting close encounters with these majestic animals, read thoroughly this blog and find out some amazing details on them! Our World Volunteering experts are here to help you learn what’s fact and what’s fiction about the "King of the Jungle".
1. Lions are usually active during most part of the day!
Actually from the big cat family, lions are the ones that nap the most! They can spend up to 22 hours of their day sleeping! Jealous?
2. Lions being refered to as the "King of the Jungle" is actually a mistake.
That´s because lions don't really live in the jungle! They only live in grasslands and plains over Africa and Asia.
3. Lions can't survive more than 24 hours without drinking water
Although they try to drink water daily if possible, they can survive up to 4 or 5 days in arid lands without any water! That's why they eat lots of moisture from the stomachs of their prey.
4. Lions have great vision in the dark!
In the dark they can actually see six times better than a human for two main reasons. Firstly because at night a reflective coating on the back of their eyes helps capture moonlight. Additionally, they have a white patch of fur underneath their eyes that helps to reflect even more light!
5. Lions tend to live by themselves.
When compared to other cats, it is safe to say that lions are clearly the most social ones and they tend to live in larger groups!
6. Lions are the most dangerous land animal in Africa!
In reallity the most dangerous land animal in Africa is not the lion but the hippopotamus. Believe it or not, they kill about 500 people a year whilst lions only about 100. However, when looking into which is the most deadliest animal on the planet, it's neither of them! It's the mosquito which causes 725,000 deaths per year!!
7. Lions are great runners!
Well... this is a tricky one
Although they can run up to 50 mph, they can only do it in a straight line and and just for a few seconds at a time. That's why they neet to get as close as they can to their prey before they start the chase!
8. Male lions' manes get grey with their age!
Opposite to what happens with humans, their manes don't turn grey when they age but actually darker!
9. Lion claws are retractable
It is commonly believed that they are, but as a matter of fact, they are protractible, which means that when the animal is at rest, the claws are sheathed, protecting the claws and keeping them sharp.
10. Popular movie "The Lion King" took the name Simba from Swahilli language and it actually means "Lion".
And that's not the only one! If you look carefully you'll find other words and characters from the movie whose names are in Swahili. Examples of those are Sarabi, Rafiki and Pumba that mean mirage, friend and foolish!
Were you surprised by these facts? Did you know them already?
Are you interested in working alongside these wonderful animals, while learning about their social behaviour and help our efforts towards their conservation?