How much water do lions drink?

Lion drinking
Lion drinking. Photo: Henrik Palm.
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How much water do lions drink? Answer: lions drink water daily provided it is readily available. Research indicates that in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater they drink after every meal.

If water is scarce or unavailable they can go without it. Lions living in semi-deserts and arid habitats can get the moisture they require from the body fluids of prey.

They conserve water by regulating their body temperature and reduce loss of water through evaporation by resting during peak daytime temperatures.

Prides of lions observed in the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park had different drinking habits.

A group of three young male lions went for nine days without water during a time of high temperatures. At this time they killed one bat-eared fox and three porcupines – not a lot of food or water.

Another group of four adult females with a six-month-old cub observed over the same period drank as follows:

  • 1st day – drank at night
  • 2nd day – did not drink
  • 3rd day – drank at night
  • 4th to 9th day – did not drink.

This group killed the following prey over this period:

  • ostrich
  • two porcupines
  • two adult gemsbok (a large antelope)

Source: Wild Cats of the World.

An “expert” on said:

“lions can drink one gallon. lions usually drink eight cups a day.”

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