African lions used to live in not only Africa but Asia and Europe as well in woodland, grassland and scrub habitats. Although males are the head of the group or pride, females do most of the hunting.
The range of African lions has been reduced from three continents to the savannas and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, primarily the countries of the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mozambique, Tanzania and Botswana. Because of this habitat loss, the African lion is currently considered a vulnerable animal and protected accordingly.
The African lion grows 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet long with an extra 26 to 40 inches for the tail and weighs between 265 and 420 pounds. However, it is considered the smaller of the two lion species. Asiatic lions reach up to 9 feet in length and 500 pounds in weight. The males of both species have a long mane of fur around their heads. Up to three males head up a lion pride, with the females and cubs usually being related. Male cubs eventually leave the pride to meet up with other young males and take over a pride.
Females hunt in groups, stalking wildebeest, antelopes and zebras or any other large animals that they can find. The hunting and living territory of the pride may be as large as 100 square miles.