What is that dark shape creeping through the grass? Pounce! It’s a lion! With it’s powerful form and sharp teeth, this animal has an intimidating presence. The big cat is an excellent hunter, which uses camouflage to stalk its prey. They creep through the grass until they are close to their prey and then give chase.
This lion has just made a zebra kill.
Lions are not usually as fast as their prey, which is why they try to sneak as close to their prey as possible before bolting out of their hiding spot after their prey. Lions will also kill any predators other than lions that they find to reduce the competition for food. Lions learn their hunting techniques when they are cubs. They are taught all they need to know by their parents, mostly their mothers, as females are usually the ones who do all the hunting in the pride. Females will try to time their births so they can share the responsibility of watching and teaching the cubs with the other mothers.
Two lionesses and their nursing cubs laze around in the Madikwe Game Reserve.
Females in a pride are always related, and they usually work together to hunt to ensure their prey doesn’t escape. Lions are the only predators that has a chance of killing an elephant when they work together. Males, however, are the ones who protect the pride when there is trouble from other non-pride lions. With their large manes, they make a fearsome sight. As it says on the National Geographic website, “These intimidating animals mark the area with urine, roar menacingly to warn intruders, and chase off animals that encroach on their turf.”
The remnants of a lions kill.
This means that they keep intruders off their land and warn animals by marking their territory not to come across.