Are lions lazy?

Lions are the least active of all cats, domestic and wild. That might be a measure of laziness or it might be a measure of their effectiveness in hunting. To be ‘lazy’ means to be unwilling to work or use energy. But if there is no need to work or use energy because the work has been done and the weather is damnably hot can you blame lions for doing nothing?

In observing two lion prides, one in the Serengeti and the other in the Ngorongoro Crater, scientists reported that both prides were inactive for an average of about 19 hours per day. Of the remaining 5 hours in the 24 hour day, the lions spent 2-4 hours travelling and about a hour on hunting and feeding (source: JP Hanby, JD Bygott and C Packer 1995)

Lions Serengeti
Lions Serengeti. Image by 18986 from Pixabay
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In Nairobi National Park the lions were more or less equally lazy as they rested for 20 hours per day and spent 3 hours travelling and hunting and 1 hour feeding (source: JA Rundai 1976).

The lions mentioned travelled about 2-9 kilometres per day. The upper end of travel is because of a lack of prey abundance. When prey is even less abundant as in the Kalahari and Etosha National Park in Nambibia the lions averaged 12-13 kilometres per night (source: FC Eloff 1984 and PE Stander 1992). In this park the scientist P.E. Stander, estimated that lions sped about 7 hours per night in searching, stalking and feeding on prey animals.

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