Why is the Lion the King of the Jungle?

While lions typically inhabit savannas and grasslands, they’re often referred to as the King of the Jungle. One explanation for this is the word jungle originates from a Hindi translation which means “not an inhabited place.” The word is used to describe forest, wilderness, waste land and even the world, with the emphasis being on emptiness. Much of what’s called jungle in India is nearly desert in appearance. 

There are other reasons why the lion is viewed so highly, however, maintaining its royal title with grace. The name likely comes down to several factors. These include.

Physical Appearance

With its strong stature and majestic golden mane, the lion has an imposing presence and a regal image that’s admired across the world. The mane makes the lion appear larger than it really is and therefore more intimidating. It’s also a symbol of health and virility. While tigers are typically bigger than lions, it’s the mane which really sets the two creatures apart.

Fun Fact: A lion’s mane grows darker with age giving it a more imposing appearance.


Social Behaviour 

While tigers are solitary animals that like to live alone, lions are the most sociable of the big cats and live in groups called prides - a bit like a lion kingdom. Prides work together to hunt and defend their territory. They’re extremely powerful and a force to be reckoned with. Prides can consist of anywhere from two to 40 lions, including up to three or four males, a dozen or more females and their young. Seeing a pride of lions in the wild is a magical experience.

Supreme Attitude 

The male lion has a supreme attitude that’s fit for a royal. With a blend of courage, leadership and perseverance, lions conquer their goals and roar to success. If you’ve ever seen a lion move in the wild or at a wildlife park, you’ll know they move with a self-confidence and composure that’s hard to imitate. 

Dominating Roar 

A lion’s roar contributes to its royal status. It can be heard up to five miles away and helps to warn rivals of its presence. It also serves as a form of communication within the pride, with male lions asserting their dominance through vocal power when necessary. A lion cub cannot roar properly, instead making little squeaking sounds. It doesn’t properly develop its roar until around two years old when it starts to mature into royalty in training. 

Cultural Significance 

Whether you read a lion book or watch a lion-based movie, you’ll often hear these stunning creatures referred to as kings of the jungle. This has left an imprint on society, with many countries believing the lion to truly be the king of the jungle.

If you love lions, don’t miss the theatre production of The Lion Inside, a show based on the popular lion story book by Rachel Bright. The original book on a lion and a little mouse emphasises that everyone has value, no matter what their size and this is now portrayed to audiences on the big stage. Book your tickets today for a fantastic family day out.