Masai Lion

The Masai Lion (Panthera leo melanochaita) is the second largest feline (cat) species, after the tiger. The Masai Lion is found in East Africa, mainly in Kenya, so they are also called East African Lions.

Male lions can grow to 2.5-3 metres (8-10 feet) long (including their tail). Female lions, called lionesses, are smaller, with no mane.

A group of lions is called a pride.

Prides of 2-40 individuals are made up of related females and one to two males. Members of the pride come and go and are rarely all together at once.

Lionesses are pregant for 100-120 days before they give birth to live young, called cubs.

The Masai Lion lives for about 10-15 years in the wild, and longer in captivity.

Taxonomists initially classified the Masai Lion as Panthera leo massaica, but in 2017 it was changed to Panthera leo melanochaita.

Masai lion

Male Masai Lion in the wild in Kenya

Masai lion

Female Masai Lion in the wild in Kenya

Masai lion

Male and female Masai Lion


Photographer: Martina Nicolls



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