How Long Do Lions Live? Explore The Lion Lifespan!


People often search for queries like “how long do lions live”, or “facts about lions“. Are you also in the same boat? Explore here everything you need to know about “how long do lions live”.

Member of the cat family, lions are territorial and social animals. They are the kings and queens of the forest and one of the most discussed animals on the planet. Lions are considered the symbol of bravery, boldness, and courage. Belongs to the cat family, this wildlife animal has muscular bodies, long tails, round heads, and ears. In addition, male lions are typically larger than their females. Moreover, if we talk about “how long do lions live” we see that they have a larger lifespan in captivity rather than in the wild.

Lions
LIONS

How Long Do Lions Live – Average Lifespan!

Are you wondering “how long do lions live”? Lions are predators roaming freely in wild. However, issues like natural threats and disasters, food availability, diseases, and life threats from humans all these factors play a significant role in their lifespan. Although they are considered the most harmful predators in wildlife they still are exposed to various threats like disease and more. Lions might make up to more than 25 years’ lifespan however generally they don’t succeed to survive that age naturally. In the wild, they can live only about 10 to the 15-year maximum.

Nevertheless, if they are given proper food and care they can have an increased life period of more than 20 years of living in captivity. Their lifespan and “how long do lions live” depends on where they are living.

The lifespan of any living being is usually calculated by taking the average number of years between their life and death. Studies show that animals that live in captivity usually have longer lifespans rather than ones that live in the wild. Why? Because in captivity they are safe from natural calamities, have a consistent supply of food and in case of any disease, they instantly get checked and provided with treatment. However, animals or lions living in wild are fairly exposed to several life threats including inadequate supply of food, serious diseases, and more.

Thus, “how long do lions live” depends on where they are living. In the wild, their survival largely depends upon their capacity to fight natural disasters and ability to find food for constant food consumption. Nevertheless, female lions or lionesses relatively have longer lifespans as compared to their counterparts let it be in the wild or in captivity.

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lion in the wild

How Long Do Lions Live in The Wild?

We all are familiar with lions and recognize them as fearless animals. However, do you know “how old do lions live”? Did you know about “how long can a lion live”? Perhaps no, right? In the wild, almost every species of lion males and females are evident to survive only for 10 to 15 years. Many times they are targeted and attacked by humans as well as other lions or sometimes being kicked by prey. Nonetheless, in captivity, they can make up to the age of above 25 years.

In addition, the average age of a female lion in the wild is approximately 16 years and for a male lion is more or less 9 to 10 years. After a certain time period – 10 years, they start to become weak and unhealthy. Their health becomes worst and worst and their ability to provide for themselves also gets decreased with time.

However, female lions tend to live a couple of years more than male lions which are because of various factors. Females don’t usually have to fight for power when they are older. In addition, when make lions have fights with each other or the time they attack each other, they usually leave lionesses alone. Females in fights are always safe and protected however males often get caught in fights that lead to their death as well.

How Long Do Lions Live in Captivity?

For this wildlife animal – the lion, the average lifespan in captivity is expected to be much greater than in the wild since they don’t have to fight with their counterparts and face natural threats. Instead, in captivity or in the zoo lions are protected, given healthcare and medical, food, and other necessities.

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Furthermore, in captivity, there are no challenges for power that can make them get in a fight. Also, no lioness in the zoo has to hunt for food consumption. Thus, the only possible cause of death for lions living in captivity is their increasing age.

Longest Lion Lifespan

Lions live longer in captivity rather than in the wild. Also, the records on the longest living lion depict that there has been this lion that succeeds to live for almost 30 years and of course in captivity. However, below mentioned are two significant and most popular lions that live for more than their average lifespan – thanks to the love and care they received while in captivity.

1. Arjun – The Longest Living Lion

Are you still questioning “how long do lions live”? While lions commonly make it to only about 18 to 20 years old, Arjun is the oldest recorded lion. Arjun is evident to have recorded living history living at the Animal Rescue Center in India. Since Arjun was bred in captivity, he didn’t live a single day of his life in the wild. For his whole life, he has been living in captivity under great care and attention.

However, there still are doubts when it comes to his age at the time when he passed eventually. Some argued that Arjun was 29 to 30-year-old however others stated that the lion was between 26 to 29 years when he died on May 17th, 2018. The major cause of his death was multiple organ failure which was probably due to his old age.

2. Zenda – The Second Oldest Living Lion

Another perfect example of knowing “how long do lions live” is Zenda who had the longest lifespan. Living to be more or less 25 years old in captivity, the second place takes Zenda – a lioness. She was captivated by the Philadelphia Zoo located in the United States. The lioness was featured as the African Lion and is known to have the longest lifespan since African lions don’t live that much longer. They tend to have an average lifespan of about 20 years in captivity and nearly 10 to 15 years in the wild.

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Zenda was born in the place known as ‘Johannesburg’ situated in South Africa. The lioness was later transferred to Philadelphia Zoo where she succeeds in living the longest lifespan than its counterparts a male lion and two lionesses.

The lioness passed away in the zoo on December 29th, 2016. Her caretakers for almost 24 years stated that Zenda was the calmest lioness of her pride ever seen. At the time of her death, she was quite healthy and energetic consuming 10 pounds of steak right before her sudden departure. Her caretakers said that the only reason that lead to her ultimate death so quickly was her sudden lack of appetite. Zenda eventually due to lack of appetite and insufficient food consumption passed away at the age of approximately 26.

3. Ram – The Long-Lived Lion in The Wild

Although it is challenging to track every lion in the wild, a male lion named Ram passed away at 16 years of age seemingly be the oldest lion to survive in the wild. The lion lived in the Gir sanctuary since 2009 maintaining his power and bravery.

In the wild, lions never are able to maintain their power for long terms since they faced several life threats and challenges, Ram managed to maintain power for almost 10 years. He later died at the age of 16 years in 2015 in India.

How Long Do Lions Live Without Food?

People often have questions like “how long do lions live without proper consumption of food”. The answer to this question is lions can survive for about two weeks without food. In addition, if a lion is well protected, healthy, and away from other risks, it can make up for the longer period. Moreover, the maximum recorded time for a lion to live without sufficient consumption of food is about a month.

Summing It Up

Lions can do quite well in captivity rather than in the wild making it up to more than 25 years on average. Zenda and Arjun are the perfect examples of lions that live long in captivity – and that’s for a reason. Regular and constant access to food or proper food consumption, being insulated from fights and conflicts, and availability of medical care and treatments contribute to their overall life expectancy in captivity.

So now you have enough information about “how long do lions live” and their average lifespan as a whole.

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