Monday, April 28, 2008

Before the Hunt

The Lion (Panthera leo)is the second largest living cat after the tiger. Large males can weigh in excess of 250 kg. This apex predator of the African continent typically roams the grassland and savannas but are not uncommon in bush and forest areas.

These social cats live in prides that vary in number, made up of relatives, consisting of females, cubs and a few young males. They can live for between 10 and 14 years in the wild.

The lionesses hunt in groups and can reach speeds of nearly 60 kilometers per hour for short bursts, which means they have to stalk their prey to get fairly close before launching their attack. Male lions don't normally participate in the hunt unless the pride is hunting large prey like giraffe or buffalo.

Bachelor males evicted from prides generally hunt their own prey and have been observed to hunt as a team. The male lions primary function within the pride is to protect their territory which can be as large as 100 square miles of grassland scrub and open woodlands.

Unlike the endangered Asiatic lion, the African lion is considered a vulnerable species, with numbers declining by between 30% and 50% in the last two decades. They once roamed most of Africa and parts of Asia and Europe. Today they are only found in parts of sub-Saharan Africa and a very small population in India's Gir Forest.

Game farms and reserves are a favourite attraction for most tourists who visit Africa and it would be a tragedy if these majestic animals could no longer be observed in the wild by future generations.

This water colour depicts a lion and lioness at dusk and I have called the painting "Before the Hunt"




13 comments:

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Caroline,

Wonderful post, it reads like Animal Planet - full of information on the social structures and habits of one of the most fascinating animals on earth.

You've captured the hunger and anticipation of the lions here. I've seen their ferocity against elephants too! Looks like this was an inspired piece you created. Very well done! :-) Durano, done!

Kim said...

I love your work, your choice of color is awesome. Did you also paint the header for your blog?
Namaste
kim

Smadar's Treasure said...

Your paintings are so beautiful and vivid! I like your Golden Eagle, it looks so powerful..

Smadar

Artbeat said...

Thanks durano
Sounds like you are a Discovery and Nat Geo wild Fan like I am. I often watch the different scenes and think wow!! that would make an amazing painting.

Artbeat said...

Hi Kim thanks for the compliment, yes the header on the blog is one of my water colour paintings, in fact the very first painting posted on my blog

Artbeat said...

Thanks Smadar

I The Golden Eagle is one of my favourites as well.

felinesopher said...

wow, amazing!
I love Lions & your paintings here, very cool:)

I wonder, what is game farms....

I never been bored seeing about big cats in Animal Planets channel, and now I've got another insights from your blog, many thanks Caroline.

Frances said...

Stunning work.
Like the fact that you include info about the subject.
Found you on entrecard

ShAé - ShAé said...

I love this post as well as the art.

Mary said...

Hi love the prints and the stories..dropped an encard for u..Mary

hayo haitsma said...

I just put a permanent link to your blog and a post with this picture in order to promote your site, excellent job.
check out the link overhere at http://rudolphspaintings.blogspot.com

Jacqueline said...

Beautiful LION! And yes, the header is awesome. :-)

MALIK IMRAN AWAN said...

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