How Long Do Lions Live? Do They Live Longer In Zoos Or In The Wild?

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 20, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Nov 04, 2021
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A lion is staring ahead into the sky

Lions are territorial and social animals, members of the cat family, that live and hunt in a family group that is called pride.

Lions are known to live an average of 15 years in the wild. However, in captivity, they live approximately a life of 30 years.

A lifespan of an animal is usually calculated by taking the average number of years between its life and death. Animals that live their lives in captivity rather than in the wild are said to live longer.

This is because these cats are safe from predators and natural calamities in captivity, have a consistent supply of food and a good amount of medical care.

In the wild, an animal’s survival depends upon its ability to find food and survive against predators. Though male and female lions are seen as the top predators, they face quite a lot of threats in the wild and sometimes even within the pride.

These animals have a shorter lifespan in the wild compared to when they are in captivity. Female lions have a longer lifespan than male lions both in the wild and in captivity. Let’s keep reading to know interesting details on how long do lions live!

After reading about the lifespan of African lions and Asiatic lions, check out are tigers bigger than lions and how fast can a lion run?

How long can a lion live in the wild?

Do you know that the roar of a lion can petrify large groups of prey animals?

In the wild, these species of lion males and females are estimated to rarely survive more than 9-10 years, mostly due to attack by humans or other lions or by being kicked and stung by desired prey. In captivity, they can live up to the age of 25 years old or more.

The average age in the wild for females is 16 years and for males is eight years as here they are prone to attack by a prey animal or hunting by poachers who will kill a lion or a lioness for their body parts.

Lack of medical attention and battles between prides also affect the life span of this wild cat.

How long is the lifespan of a lion in captivity?

Lions live in captivity longer than in the wild as there are lesser chances of being killed than in their natural habitat, and there is plenty of meat available to feed on. These animals, in the same way as other various creatures, can spend a long life and flourish in captivity.

In captivity, their future is high, and they invest more energy in confinement because of appropriate consideration and legitimate sustenance.

Lions can easily spend a life of around 20 years. Simultaneously, many records demonstrate a rare age of 29 years of age.

Many lions live in zoos. They breed viably in zoos in hopefully ideal conditions. Records of the world's zoos, lions can live for more than 25 years.

The creature gets the best clinical treatment and is shielded from likely hunters, bringing about an extremely long life expectancy. A wild lion, in contrast to a captive, will live just 16 years. It is also said that lions can live for as long as 14 days without eating.

Beautiful mighty Lion roaring

Why do lions live longer in a zoo?

Life in the wild isn't actually heaven. In fact, old male lions are safer in captivity as it helps with their conservation.

In zoos, these animals are free from stress factors like rivalry, social difficulties, and hunters in the wild. This is mostly dependent on the accessibility of food, natural surroundings, space, water, and different necessities accessible in the climate lions are expected to endure.

In any case, even though African lions are top hunters, they face an abundance of dangers in the wild as well.

From contamination to territory infringement, people significantly affect the planet. Zoological medication has permitted creatures to live for longer in the world.

Creatures are under steady infection monitoring. With customary wellbeing checks, infections that might be lethal in the wild are found early and treated. Long periods of exploration have worked on all parts of overseeing creatures in human consideration.

Most zoos have confidence in overseeing creatures depending on what has been discovered with regards to their science, conduct, social designs, wellbeing, and nourishment of food. Hence, male lions live longer in a zoo.

How long do female lions live?

Among wild female lions, sexual development happens somewhere in the range of 3-5 years of age. Around then, some female lions remain as members of the pride, and others go on to find new pride or lead a solitary life.

All male lions tend to abandon the pride as soon as they are between 2-3 years of age. Grown-up lionesses might frame unions to fortify their endeavors to overcome pride.

While the lion's life expectancy might reach the age of 24 years or more in captivity, wild lions seldom have a lifespan longer than an average of 10-16 years of age. Wild lions capitulate to wounds from assaults by predators, different lions, poachers, or protective injuries on the tail from prey creatures.

Do all species of lions have the same life expectancy?

An African lion (Panthera leo) can be found in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Focal African Republic, South Sudan, and different regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Asiatic lions are found distinctly in the Indian territory of Gujarat, western India, where most dwell in the ensured Gir Timberland Public Park, a 545-square-mile natural life refuge.

Lions are recorded as Defenseless by the IUCN's Red Rundown of Undermined Species. Three-quarters of African lion populaces are in decay; their present populace is assessed at 20,000 in the wild, as indicated by the World Untamed Life Alliance (WWF).

The populace has been nearly sliced down the middle in the past 20 years due to retaliatory killings by ranchers, and similarly from prize hunting and living space encroachment. Asiatic lions are in a significantly more hazardous situation as human infringement has diminished their environment.

How old was the oldest lion?

One of the world's oldest lions known to date had a lifespan of 14 years. The name of this lion was Scarface, which was given due to a scar that was present across the eyes and cherished and examined energetically by all, everywhere in the world.

Lions, for the most part, live for 11-15 years despite enduring many wounds. Scarface was known as a fine specimen in male lions, known for protecting his territory. His perseverance and particular, 'scarred' appearance loaned a charm and feeling of interest to his faction to such an extent that it prompted boundless documentation of his lifetime.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do lions live? Then why not take a look at bobcat vs mountain lion? Or African lion facts.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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