West African Lion
Nearly all wild lions live in Africa but in fact, lions have disappeared from over 90% of their historical range.
African lion numbers are thought to have declined by over 40% in the just three generations.
On average, males weigh 190kg (almost 30 stone) They need this weight and power behind them to hunt large prey and defend their pride.
Young lions have rosettes and spots on their sandy coats, but these generally disappear as they mature.
Male lions grow impressive manes the older they get. These manes grow up to 16cm long and are a sign of dominance.
As well as attracting females, their manes may also protect their neck and head from injuries during fights.
Lions can eat up to 40kg of meat in a single meal - around a quarter of their body weight.
Their tongues have sharp-pointed rasps, called papillae, which are used to scrape meat off the bones.
Lions do most of their hunting at night as their eyes have adapted to the dark and this gives them a huge advantage over their prey.
They hunt more during storms as the noise and wind make it harder for prey to see and hear them.
The main threats are retaliatory or preemptive killing to protect people and livestock, and decreasing natural prey and habitat (for example, due to expanding human settlements and therefore less available grazing).
When their natural prey is scarce, lions can cause grave losses to livestock, which can destroy the income of local people.
Climate change is another increasing threat – extreme weather may cause more droughts or delay the rains, affecting lions’ prey.
They’re also killed for the illegal wildlife trade. In recent years, the demand for lion bone as a substitute for tiger bone in traditional Asian medicine has risen.
Painted in acrylic, coloured pencil and liquid graphite on extra white 640gsm Fabriano Artistico paper.
Dimensions 38cm x 47cm
Signed by the artist.
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