The lion is a big, powerful cat that is probably the most famous member of the cat family. The lion is known for it's big, silencing roar, which puts fear in their prey's eyes. Lions can live in cool temperatures, while also being able to live in the heat of desert areas. They don't like to live in big forests, such as rain forest. Most of them live woodlands, grassy plains, and areas with thorny scrub trees. Lions tend to live where they find food, mainly antelope, deer, zebra, etc., and they also live where they have a place to drink, like streams and nearby rivers.
Back in the earlier days, lions lived in Europe, the Middle East, India, and most of Africa. Because of humans, thousands of lions were killed when the people in those regions settled in1 now there are no more lions left in the Middle East or North Africa. Only 200 lions live in Asia today, and in India they live in the Gir Forest. Lions still live in the eastern part of central Africa and in southern Africa, but most of these lions live in national parks and areas called reserves. There, they are protected from hunters. Hundreds of lions also live in custody of zoos throughout the world. And trained lions are popular in circuses.3
The lion and the tiger are the largest members of the "cat family." Lions are mainly built for strength, but unfortunately not speed. A male lion usually weighs 350 to 400 pounds, but some can get up to 500 pounds. Most males get about 9 feet long from the nose to the end of the tail. Lionesses, or females, are smaller than males. They weigh only 250 to 300 pounds, and they are about a foot shorter.4
Male lions are the only "cats" with manes. The mane covers the head and the neck, down to the shoulder and the chest area. It is a long, thick, bushy type of hair, kind of like a beard that surrounds the head. The mane gives the opposition an illusion that the male is even bigger and stronger then he really