Lions are a universal emblem of courage – the super-charged hunting beasts admired for centuries for their strength and prowess. More than any other animal, lions symbolize Africa.
The roar of a lion fills the night – the world’s most chilling, spine-tingling sound, as powerful as the noise of a small plane taking off. A lion has a huge appetite; at one sitting, a hungry lion can eat the equivalent of a whole person. Its eyes are keen: this big tawny hunter has night vision six times better than ours. It’s a big killing machine: it weighs at least twice as much as a grown man, has claws like sharp switchblades, a rasping tongue much rougher than sandpaper. It can overpower animals far bigger than itself. Yet it can be gentle, caring and affectionate. Mothers even suckle each other’s cubs. The secret of the lion’s success is that it lives in a group – Africa’s most powerful land carnivore is the only truly social cat in the world.
The mighty male’s life is fraught with danger, the sleek female’s with the cares of child-minding, warring with neighbours, and risking all in the hunt. So do lions have it made? We find out The Whole Story of life in the pride.