Order Carnivora

Family Felidae

Species Panthera leo


Body length without tail is 170 250 cm, tail length is 90 110 cm, height is 90 125cm. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight.

Lions are the only members of the cat family to display obvious sexual dimorphism  males are more robust with broader heads and have a prominent mane which grows downwards and backward and may cover most of the head, neck, shoulders and chest. The mane is typically brownish and tinged with yellow, rust and black hairs. The most distinctive characteristic shared by both females and males is that the tail ends in a dark, hairy tuft.


Lions live in family groups prides. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. Males are responsible for cubs protection. Maturity became in 3-4 years. Mating season lasts the whole year. The gestation period is 110 days. Number of cubs is 3 5.

Lions hunt on large mammals (antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, warthogs). Lifespan is 15 20 years.

Lions of Kyiv zoo

According to existing sources of information lions were living in Kiev Zoo since 30-s of the twentieth century. Theodore Ernst wrote about lions in his "Kyiv travel guide" in 1930. The biggest quantity of lions was presented in the zoon in 1982. There were 9 animals.

In August 2009 four young cubs were received from Kalinihrad zoo - one male and three females. Their names are Hercules, Christine, Daria, and Vilia. Animals adapted greatly and feel good in the spacious enclosure in the "Island of animals."

Dont be surprised if you see our lions sleeping each time when you come to the zoo. Even in nature they sleep for 18-20 hours a day. Be patient, and if you're lucky, you'll hear a famous terrible roaring.