My Wild Cat paintings are inspired by my love of these magnificent animals. "Lionel" is my painting of a male Lion, of course. The original "Lionel" was sold to a private collector in Europe through a gallery in Switzerland. The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats and is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. The male lion is renowned for its majesty and nicknamed "the king of the jungle,". He is easily recognized by his mane and possesses both beauty and strength. The male lion's face is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture. Lions are the only social member of the cat (Felidae) family and live in large groups called "prides," consisting of about 15 lions. The male is territorial and fiercely protective of his pride, patrolling a vast territory normally covering about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers) and will roar and use scent markings to establish their domains. The female lions do almost all of the hunting. They are mainly nocturnal and work in teams to stalk and ambush prey.
Lions inhabit grassy plains, savannahs, open woodlands and scrub country. Lion population in Africa has been reduced by half since the early 1950s. Today, fewer than 21,000 remain in all of Africa. Though lions used to live in most parts of Africa, they are now found only in the south Sahara desert and in parts of southern and eastern Africa. Historically, in addition to Africa, lions were found from Greece through the Middle East to northern India. Male lions usually have a height of about 4 feet (1.2m), a length of 5-8 feet (1.5-2.4m), weigh 330-500 lbs (150-227 kg) and can run up to 50 mph (81 km/hr), for short distances. They usually live to 10-14 years and while lions do not usually hunt people, some (usually males) seem to seek out human prey. Humans and other lions are its only predators.
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