Member of the felidae family, the lion is the national animal of England. It was declared as the national animal of England during the days of Richard I. The reason as to why it was declared England’s national animal was because it personifies qualities of “Britishness” which include strength, courage, dignity, pride and many others. All these are typical features of lions, making them to be referred to as the king of the jungle.
Due to the abundance of zebras, gazelles, antelopes and other animals in grassland savannas, lions mostly live in this region. The terrain of savanna grasslands enables the lions to chase down their prey easily without getting tired. According to 2015 survey, there are approximately 1400 lions in England (IUCN red list). Their number, however, is declining at an alarming rate. England’s national animal has been categorized as an endangered species. The reason for the decline has been attributed to hunting, where hunters kill lions for their skins and teeth. They sell them as souvenirs.
Facts about the National Animal of England (The Lion)
- Common name: lion
- Scientific name: Panthere leo
- Average weight: male-420lbs; female-280lbs.
- Average length: male-5.6-8.2ft; female-4.6-5.7ft
- Habitat: Grasslands and parks
- Diet: Omnivores
- Average lifespan: 10-14 years
Lions are huge animals with brown fur on their body. The male ones have a more dark brown color as compared to their female counterparts. They also have a thick mane around their neck. Female lions are called lionesses. They are generally slim, with light brown fur. They do not have a mane. They are also social animals, living in a group of up to 15 members. The lionesses specialize in hunting, where after killing their prey, they allow the lions to first have their fill. The lions on the other hand are supposed to provide full security to lionesses and their cubs. This sense of responsibility, coupled with strength and courage has made the lion to be a cherished national animal symbol of England.
As a symbol of bravery, the national animal of England was also used to depict the courageous warriors of medieval England, thus being referred to as the national symbol of England.
- “When and why did the lion become the national animal of England?”-The guardian
- “England’s national symbols”-englandforever.org
- “National symbols of England”-Wikipedia