RAWR!! Hug Me if You Dare.

Lions are ferocious creatures of the wild. Yet some are bold enough to approach them and befriend them. Just as how Timothy Treadwell is to grisly bears and Steve Irwin is to crocodiles, Kevin Richardson has a special bond and relationship with lions. Kevin Richardson is a zoologist and animal behaviouralist. He uses love, understanding and trust to bond with the lions and win them over to himself.

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Known as the Lion Whisperer, Kevin can look into their eyes confidently and even lie down with them. He has not been attacked or mauled by these lions yet, and I think the million dollar question is: how long will he have immunity?

Watch Video: Hugs with Lion

Some Interesting Facts about Lions:

The lion’s scientific name is Panthera leo. Lions belong to the Felidae or cat family. Lions have been known to live nearly 30 years in capitivity and have an average life span of 15 years in the wild. A full grown adult male lion can weigh between 150 and 259kilograms.

Despite all their growling, roaring and ferociousness, lions are actually family animals and social in their own communities. They usually live in groups of 15 or more called prides. Together, they hunt, prey, raise cubs and guard territories. The lionesses usually do most of the hunting and cub rearing in the prides.

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Generally, the darker the lion’s mane, the older he is. Scientists believe that male lions’ manes make them look fierce and may help protect their throats in battle with other males. A male lion marks the territory of his pride by spraying a mixture of urine and glandular secretions on tree trunks and bushes.

Lions are carnivores – meat eaters. They hunt animals ranging in size from small hares to large buffalo. A typical meal for an adult male lion is 7kilograms of meat, though lions can consume as much as 27 kilograms at a sitting.

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When lions walk, their heels don’t touch the ground. Lions can run at a top speed of 58kilometers an hour, but cannot sustain that for long. Lions remain inactive for up to 20 hours a day. They would usually wait until it is the coolest and darkest times of the day before they start to hunt.

A lion’s loud roar can carry for as far as eight kilometers and is usually heard after sunset.  The roar warns off intruders and helps to gather stray members of the pride.

References

National Geographic Kids. (1996). Lion – Facts & Photos, National Geographic Kids. Retrieved April 01, 2010, from National Geographic Kids: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/Animals/CreatureFeature/Lion

Roberts, G. (2007, June 26). The king of the jungle doesn’t frighten the lion whisperer| Mail Online. Retrieved April 04, 2010, from Mail Online : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-464353/The-king-jungle-doesnt-frighten-lion-whisperer.html

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