What is the National Animal of Sri Lanka?

What is the National Animal of Sri Lanka?

The Lion or the Asiatic Lion is the official national animal of Sri Lanka. Panthera Leo is the scientific name of Lion. It is also known as the Indian lion and Persian lion. Its historical range included eastern Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mesopotamia, and from east of the Indus River to Bengal and Narmada River in Central India. The national animal of Sri Lanka, the Asiatic Lion is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List because of its small population size.

The five major areas that are judged as favorable for the preservation of the Asiatic Lion, which are Gir sanctuary, Gir National Park, Mitiyala Sanctuary, Pania Sanctuary and Girnar Sanctuary. The Lion is the most prestigious wild animal to Sri Lanka, which is the main cause to designate the Lion as the unofficial national animal of Sri Lanka.

National animal of Sri Lanka Facts

  • Common Name: Asiatic Lion or Lion
  • Scientific Name: Panthera Leo
  • 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, nilgai, chital, wild cattle, buffalo, young elephants, monkeys, birds, frogs, wild boar, goats, and porcupines.
  • Height: Average male height is 3.5 ft.
  • Weight: Adult male: 160-190 kg and the female: 110-120 kg
  • Length: Average length is 2.92 m
  • Cubs: 2-6(during rainy season)
  • Major strength: Agility, smelling and hearing power.
  • Major weakness: None
  • Lifespan: 14-18 years

Sri Lanka’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. 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.

Mane indicates males with their fitness. The development rates of the manes are generally controlled by testosterone. 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.

Sri Lanka’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 Lions steal the prey those are hunted by the Hyenas or wild dogs.

Reference:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_lion
  2. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/asiatic-lion/
  3. https://www.zsl.org/asiatic-lion-facts
  4. indiasendangered.com/5-facts-you-need-to-know-about-the-asiatic-lions/

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