Kumali, the leader of our pride of African lions here at Flamingo Land, turned 16 on Tuesday July 10! You may also recognise he also has a roller coaster here at the park named after him.
It has been a time of celebration for another set of three lions with the England football team reaching the World Cup semi finals for the first since before Kumali was even born.
Here at Flamingo Land, lions can potentially live into their early 20s but sadly in the wild they tend to only live to between 11-13 years.
Lions once roamed throughout southern Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia. Today the African lion can only be found in sub-Saharan Africa and a small pocket of Asiatic lions are found in southern India.
Unfortunately their numbers in the wild are rapidly decreasing due to conflict with humans, habitat loss and poaching. They are listed as a vulnerable species with only approximately 16,000 wild lions left in Africa.
The most recognisable feature of the lion is the large mane which only male lions grow. Kumali can easily be spotted amongst our large pride with his very dark mane around his neck and shoulders. It not only makes him look big and impressive to the girls but would also protect him against male rivals.
Males can reach over 2.5 metres in length, and a large male may weigh over 200 kilograms.
Lions can live in prides of up to 30 individuals which consist of two or three males, up to 10 related females and their young.
Muscular legs and strong jaws coupled with good eyesight, hearing and sense of smell make lions excellent hunters.
Lions are carnivores and prey on wildebeast, buffalo, giraffe, zebra and antelope.
Here at Flamingo Land we mainly feed our lions large portions of beef.
They also spend between 16 and 20 hours a day lounging around and as it has been so hot in North Yorkshire recently our lions can be seen mainly sleeping in the shaded areas of their enclosure.