Lions are called the kings of the animal kingdom, and one good look at an adult male lion gives you a really good idea of why lions have this nickname. Lions are the tallest of all the big cats, and they are some of the most powerful animals in the world!
While lions used to live all over Africa and in large parts of Asia, they now live in only small areas in Africa. Scientists do not know all the reasons for this scary drop in lion numbers, but zoos around the world are helping to raise and protect lions so that their numbers can grow strong again. Lions usually live in a group, which is called a pride, and most prides have one or two male lions and several female lions.
Male lions are the only ones who have a mane (the long hair around the head that makes lions so easy to recognize), but don’t start thinking that this means the female lions are not important! Female lions do most of the hunting for a pride, and they usually hunt in groups and work together.
The lion pride is a real team effort, and this is probably one of the reasons why lions are respected so much.