|Photo: National Geographic/Words: F LoBuono|
His roar was long and loud.
Description of King Leonidas in "300".
Male, or pride, lions (Pantehra leo) are awesome creatures. It is not unusual for us to associate power, strength, and magesty with the image of an adult, male lion.
Weighing as much as 450 lbs., they can still reach speeds of nearly 50 mph (in short bursts). They are capable of attacking and killing animals that can weigh as much as 1,000 lbs. Males reach sexual maturity at about 2-3 years of age before they are driven out of the pride by the older, more powerful males. Females tend to stay with the same pride for their entire lives. At this time, the males form alliances and wander the countryside to attempt to find a pride of their own. Of course, the existing males of any given territory are not about to give up their pride ownership without a fight.
And, fight they do - often to the death. Even if the existing pride leader is not killed, he is diposed and forced to make it on his own, usually a death sentence anyway. After ruling the pride where his main duties consisted basically of only fighting and fucking, his skills as a hunter become so completely eroded that if the hyeneas (the lion's ancient and deadly enemy) don't get him, starvation will. And, this is after an average of only 6 years! So, their existance is, in a sense, fast and furious.
I suppose the lesson here is that there is a price to pay to lead. But, if it's in your blood, there can be no ther way. A lion can only be a lion, and makes no excuses for it.