What is the National Animal of Kenya?

What is the National Animal of Kenya?

The Lion or the African Lion is the official national animal of Kenya. Panthera Leo is the scientific name of Lion. It is also known as the African Lion, Indian lion, and Persian lion. Its historical range is most of sub-Saharan Africa except in desert and rainforest habitats. Lions once ranged throughout southwest Asia and North Africa. Lions were once exterminated from South Africa, where they remain in Kruger and Kalahari Gemsbok National Parks and possibly some other protected areas.

The national animal of Kenya, the African Lion is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List because of its small population size. The Lion is the most prestigious wild animal in the Kenya, which is the main cause to designate the Lion as the official national animal of Kenya. It is also the national symbol of Kenya.

National animal of Kenya Facts—

  • Common Name: African Lion or Lion
  • Scientific Name: Panthera Leo
  • Height: Average male height at the shoulder: 1.20 m while female height at the shoulder: 1.10 m
  • Weight: Male weight range 150 – 240 kg, while female weight range: 122 – 182 kg
  • Length: Male head-body length: 1.7 – 2.5 m and female head-body length: 1.6 – 1.9 m
  • Color: Tawny coats with white underneath parts. Tuft at the end of the tail is black, and manes are golden yellow, which turns to dark brown. Cubs have brown spots on a grayish coat till to mature and its spots are remaining on the belly.
  • Diet: The Lions are carnivorous; they prey medium to large ungulates: wild deer, goats, sambar, chital, wild cattle, buffalo, young elephants, gazelles, zebras, impalas, and wildebeests, Cape buffalo, giraffe, monkeys, birds, frogs, wild boar, goats, and porcupines.
  • Cubs: 2-6(during rainy season)
    Major strength: Agility, smelling and hearing power.
  • Major weakness: None
  • Lifespan: 14-18 years
  • Habitat: African lions reside in plains or savanna habitat, where the prey is available especially ungulates with sufficient cover. In these most favorable habitats, after spotted hyenas, lions are the second most copious great predator. Lions also can live in forested, shrubby, mountainous, and semi-desert habitats.

Kenya’s national animal, Lion is tawny coats with white underneath parts. Tuft at the end of the tail is black, and manes are golden yellow, which turns to dark brown. Mane indicates males with their fitness. The development rates of the manes are generally controlled by testosterone. Cubs have brown spots on a grayish coat till to mature and its spots are remaining on the belly. The tongue is covered with tiny, sharp, backward-facing hooks; use it to function as a comb for preparing and scraping meat from bones.

They have good eyesight, specialized teeth, flexible spine, powerful leg and jaw muscles, forelimbs with retractable claws. They rely on disguise and stalking during the hunt like all cats, Asiatic Lions have very good speeding up but little endurance. It is important when hunting to get as close to the prey as possible before charging. Kenya’s national animal, Lion, the “King of Jungle” is distinctive among cats as they live together in brawny social groups. The arrogance is made up of 5-15 allied females with cubs along single male.

Male Asiatic Lions patrol a territory of around 100m² by marking trees and rocks with urine. They roar to notify off interlopers. In spite of their mammoth size, the male Asiatic Lions, in fact, do hunting as they are often slower and more easily seen than their female counterparts. Lion is the only cats, which make a group to live that called ‘prides’. It is a family unit, which may include maximum three males, twelve to fifteen females, and their young. The young males ultimately leave the pride and founding won pride while the female young naturally stay with the group as they age. Female lions are the pride’s main hunters while the males rarely participate in hunting.

The national animal of Kenya, the Lions steal the prey those are hunted by the Hyenas or wild dogs. The female Lion gives birth to two to six cubs after a 3.5 month gestation period. Cubs weigh 1 to 2 kg. Eyes of the cubs are typically open by 15 days and can walk by 15 days and are able to run by 1 month of age. Mother Lion keep their cubs in hiding until they reach about 8 weeks of age. They are weaned between 7 and 10 months, on the other hand until they are at least 16 months old they have to depend upon the adults of the pride.

Reference:

https://einfon.com/nationalsymbols/national-animal-of-kenya/

www.kenya-information-guide.com/kenya-animals.html

https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Panthera_leo/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion

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