Big Cats

Lion, Kenya

Lions are threatened throughout most of their African range. But nowhere is their condition as perilous as in Kenyan Maasailand, where this large male was photographed. Lions there, which number fewer than 150, are under imminent threat of extinction from Maasai herdsmen thought to be retaliating against prides who prey on their cattle.

Lionesses and Cubs

Three female lions and a pair of cubs rest in the grass in Botswana Okavango Delta. Females remain with a pride for life and often have to defend their cubs from males, who will kill young lions when taking over another male territory.

Male Lions, Botswana

Two young male lions lie in the grass of Botswana Okavango Delta. A pride of lions may be headed by a single male or a coalition of up to seven males who cooperatively defend the groups territory.

Lioness, Botswana

A female lion in Botswana Okavango Delta stretches as other members of the pride lounge nearby. Pride size can range from 2 to 18 females and cubs, all related to one another.

An adult male lion walks through grasslands in Botswana Okavango Delta. Biologists think males evolved their impressive manes in part to provide neck protection during fights, among other reasons.


Sharp eyesight and raw speed make the cheetah a formidable hunter.

Mountain Lion

Mountain lions do not like to share their territory and are constantly on the lookout for invaders

Bengal Tiger and Cub

A mother Bengal tiger and her cub rest in the tall grass of a meadow. Tiger cubs remain with their mothers for two to three years before dispersing to find their own territory.


Jaguars, the largest of South America big cats, once roamed much of the Americas. Today they are found in only a few remote regions.

July 15, 2015
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