Blogs & Videos: Lions

Must we fence parks to save lions?

Conservation is often complicated. Lions have suffered dramatic population and geographic range collapse owing to human activities.  They now occur in less than 30% of their historic range and total numbers have fallen by 70% to 33,000 since 1980.  Retaliatory killing in the wake of livestock depredations, habitat loss and fragmentation, and prey loss are the main factors responsible for these declines.  As bad as things are, the problem is worsening.

Man-eating lions ate fewer people than believed

Legendary "man-eating" lions of Tsavo likely ate about 35 people--not 135--in notorious attacks SANTA CRUZ, CA--The legendary "man-eating lions of Tsavo" that terrorized a railroad camp in Kenya more than a century ago likely consumed about 35 people--far fewer than popular estimates of 135 victims, according to a new analysis by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The study also yields surprises about the predatory behavior of lions.

Lion mane linked to climate

If you were a male lion and could read the latest scientific research, you would want to move to a warmer climate, where your mane would be more impressive. That is, until it started getting smaller, to fit you to your new warmer climate! It's long been known that lions with long, full manes get the girls. Now, an innovative study based on zoo animals all across America shows for the first time that cold temperatures help the king of the beast grow his mane long and thick, and more appealing to potential mates.