Knowsley Safari’s lions are the ‘mane’ attraction this World Lion Day
Knowsley Safari might be experiencing a ‘Jurassic Summer’ with its summer dinosaur takeover, but the Safari’s six-strong African lion pride is reminding us who’s king of the jungle on World Lion Day, Thursday 10 August.
Listed as a vulnerable species, African lions are threatened by habitat loss, food shortages due to natural prey decline and illegal wildlife trade, among other factors and with the global population around 40% less than three generations, World Lion Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of how we can help protect this majestic big cat.
To mark this special day, Knowsley Safari’s carnivore keepers have released six stunning images and six accompanying facts, to mark each member of its pride.
1. Lions have no natural predators.
2. There are currently around 23,000 African lions left in the wild.
3. African lions are living on only 8% of the land they once occupied.
4. A lion’s roar can be heard up to five miles away (that thunderstorm in Kirkby might not have been thunder after all…).
5. The darker a male lion’s mane, the older he is and the more attractive he is to females, as the mane indicates testosterone and stress tolerance levels.
6. A lion can sleep for up to 20 hours a day.
Lucy Petrie, carnivore animal manager at Knowsley Safari, said: “Like all lions, our pride relishes being in the spotlight and this World Lion Day will be no different, they’ll be ready for guests to get up close from the safety of their cars – and once inside Lion Country there is no fence between guests and the lions ensuring ultimate visibility.
“Visiting our pride of African lions is an ideal way to learn more about these charismatic animals and consider how we can protect them for future generations.”
Knowsley Safari’s pride of African lions can be seen in Lion Country on the 550-acre Safari drive. The longest in the UK, the drive is also home to white rhino, European bison, yaks, Bactrian camels and several types of deer, among other species. While the Foot Safari is home to additional animals including giraffe, meerkats, birds of prey and the Russian-inspired Amur Tiger Trail.
Knowsley Safari supports an African lion conservation programme at Niokolo-Koba National Park in Senegal. Further information about Knowsley Safari’s conservation projects is available on site and online.