PDF Big Cats - Learn Cool Facts about Lions, Tigers, Leopards and Cheetah and See Amazing Pictures

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The size of the pride is determined by the availability of food and water. If resources are scarce, the pride becomes smaller.

Pride members keep track of one another by roaring. Both males and females have a very powerful roar that can be heard up to 8 km 5 mi. Males and females take on very different roles in the pride. Male lions spend their time guarding their territory and their cubs. They maintain the boundaries of their territory, which can be as large as sq. Their thick manes, a unique trait to male lions, protect their necks when they fight with challengers. Female lions are the primary hunters of the group.

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They are smaller and more agile than males. But since their prey is still generally faster than them, they use teamwork to bring an animal down. Fanning out, they form a semicircle, with the smaller, weaker lionesses herding the prey towards the center.


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Then the stronger females knock the animal down and make the kill. Lions usually hunt at night. Their prey includes antelopes, buffaloes, zebras, young elephants , rhinos, hippos , wild hogs, crocodiles and giraffes. But they also sometimes eat smaller prey like mice, birds, hares, lizards, and tortoises. They are not above stealing kills from other carnivores, like hyenas, wild dogs, cheetahs , and leopards, or scavenging spoiled meat.

After a successful hunt, all the lions in the pride share the meal. But there is a pecking order, with the adult males taking first claim, followed by the lionesses, and finally, the cubs. Lions have a fast-working digestive system, which allows them to gorge themselves and then go for seconds shortly after. If available, they will drink water everyday.

But they can go days without drinking by obtaining moisture from the stomach contents of their prey. Spending hours of the day sleeping or resting, lions are the laziest of the big cats. They can be found lying on their backs with their feet up or taking a snooze up in a tree.

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While lazing around, they are very affectionate towards one another, rubbing heads, grooming, and purring. Lionesses give birth to cubs at a time. Usually a couple females give birth around the same time. The cubs are then raised together, sometimes nursing communally. Like most of the other big cats, tigers also suffer from lack of prey and conflict with humans. But more than any other cat, the tiger is highly sought after in the illegal wildlife trade, particularly for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

But let me assure you that tiger bones are not curing cancer. The science is unproven, the origins contrived. Some people are simply choosing to sacrifice tigers and many, many other species to the gods of ignorance and ostentation.

leopard Facts

A boma is a lion-proof enclosure for livestock made out of thorny acacia trees and chain-link fencing. Lion , and you can watch him test out his own boma-of-sorts as he spends the night with a pride.


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The bad news for this spotted cat is that it requires huge tracts of land for hunting and breeding, and that habitat is being chopped down and parceled off from the American Southwest to Argentina. The good news, however, is that enough of the Amazon rainforest still stands in Brazil to give these cats a fighting chance.

Lion Facts for Kids | African Animals | Big Cats

More good news? Brazil has cut its deforestation rate an amazing 70 percent since Leopards have the largest distribution of any big cat, but like most of the rest, their populations have been dropping every year.

One subspecies, the Amur leopard, is half a breath away from extinction. Try this for perspective: There are more than three times as many players on the Lafayette Leopards college football team 99 than there are Amur leopards left in the wild And…cue the Charlie Brown music.

Sure these felines are impressive hunters and cute to boot, but does it really matter if big cats disappear? Predators are important, and they keep food webs running smoothly and ecosystems in check. And most conservationists agree that if it lives, it has a right to keep on living. The network paid for travel and other expenses.

All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of NRDC. How do you bring tigers back to a region after decades of extinction? First you rebuild their ecosystem.

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