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Lesson 05 – Where Did the Lions Go?

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Read About Where the Lions Went

Vocabulary

Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

A habitat is the natural environment in which an animal, plant or other living thing lives.

Grasslands are large open spaces of land filled with low-growing plants such as grasses and wildflowers.

A pride is a group of lions that hunt prey, raise cubs, and defend their territory together.

Territorial behaviour describes how an animal, or group of animals, protects its territory from other animals.

A wildlife sanctuary is an area where animal habitats are protected. 

Where Did the Lions Go?

There are only two kinds of lions in the world today. Asiatic lions used to roam from Greece to India. Today, only about 200 to 300 live in a national park in India. African lions lived in most of Africa, except for the desert. Today only 20 000 to 30 000 African lions are found in eastern and southern Africa. What happened?

One of the reasons is loss of habitat. In Africa, lions have lost nearly 75% of their habitat to development. Lions live in grasslands and in wooded areas. They like to be by water holes or rivers for drinking. Also many of the animals they hunt come to water to drink. These are areas where people like to live and farm and raise animals. More people means fewer lions.

African Lions

Lions Need a Lot of Room

Lions are the only members of the cat family that live in groups. A group of lions living together is called a pride. A pride can have from 1 to 4 male lions and 5 to 10 female lions, plus their cubs. A pride needs a lot of land. A pride can travel 8 to 10 kilometres a day hunting.

Prides are very territorial. This means that they will fight with any other lions that come into their areas. The fighting usually happens among the male lions. Younger males will challenge the male lions of a pride and try to kill them. Then they will take over the pride.

How Can We Save the Lions?

In Africa, most lions are found in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. There are still some who live outside these areas. They are always in danger of being killed by livestock owners and hunters. Even inside the sanctuaries and parks, lions are not always safe. People need to be educated about what is happening to lions and work together to keep them safe.

To learn more about how you can help save the Lions, watch the video by Nat Geo Kids on Youtube.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.