A place where the African Lion lives alone

The stereotypical image of wild lions, is generally that of a group lying on there back in the middle of the open plains, snoozing.

However, this is not necessarily the most common way that lions would have lived. We have to bear in mind that this would not have been the standard behaviour everywhere. Lion population estimates from the past vary wildly, however it is reasonable to be confident in a wild lion population in the hundreds of thousands back in 1950. Different people will estimate anything from 200,000 up to 500,000.

The population is now roughly 20,000. Perhaps 16,000 of these lions are spread across a handful of reserves in southern and eastern africa (greater Kruger Serengeti-mara Selous Okavango delta and Ruaha ) . The last 4000 exist in small reserves, and even in places outside protected areas. This includes the whole of the west African lion population – important as this is actually relict parts of the Asiatic population. As such this population should be able to be boosted by animals from India and the same in reverse.

Where food is limited and danger high, lions will mostly live a solitary life, just coming together for mating and a mother with her young.

One of these sparse lion populations occurs in the savannah and semi desert of northern Kenya. This semi desert region is an incredibly hard place to scratch out a living as a lion, and often large game is not available. This has forced this lion population into a solitary lifestyle. Far harder to live than the plains of the Serengeti, it is quite likely that a transplanted lion moved to this area would simply starve. Here you will not find lions lazing out on the plains, indeed they spend far more of their time hunting and their behaviour looks more like leopards than lions.

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