Get it straight from the lion’s mouth in this exclusive interview on what it’s like to be King of the Beasts.
Interviewer: Your Majesty, it was so kind of you to grant us the time to interview you today.
Lion: Oh, pish, pish, think nothing of it, noblesse oblige and all that.
Interviewer: For the record, what is your official title and name?
Lion: Well, you two-legs call me Panthera leo—that’s my official scientific name. But among my kind, I am called the King of the Beasts. I am also known as the King of the Jungle. It doesn’t really matter—it all just means that I’m Top Cat, Numero Uno, Number One, what have you.
Interviewer: Are you number one in everything?
Lion: Of course!
Interviewer: So you’re claiming to be the largest cat, too?
Interviewer: But isn’t the Siberian tiger the biggest big cat?
Lion: Ahh , technically speaking, the Siberian tiger is the biggest, but where I live in Africa, no cat is larger than I am. In my habitat, I’m the largest and most ferocious predator around.
Interviewer: But I’ve heard that you actually don’t prey on many animals. Don’t the females in the pride do the hunting?
Lion: Ahh, again, you’ve done your homework. Yes, it is the lionesses that do most of the hunting. And of course, I get the “lion’s share” of their kill, but I deserve it—after all, I have an important job too. I have to protect the family’s territory, and as long as I do my job, why shouldn’t I relax a little?
Interviewer: I’ve heard you actually relax quite a bit—up to 20 hours each day.
Lion: Well, I need my beauty sleep, and it seems to work. You have to admit, I’m extremely handsome.
Interviewer: And what exactly do you think makes you so good-looking?
Lion: If I had to pick just one thing, I guess I would say it’s my big, beautiful mane. The lionesses seem to like it, too. But it’s more than just a mark of beauty—it makes me look bigger, so I scare away potential rivals for my position. It may also help protect my face and neck in fights.
Interviewer: So even though you’re the king, you still have to fight?
Lion: Other males try to challenge me for my territory and for control of my pride. Unfortunately, you only get to be king a few years before some younger, stronger male defeats you and kicks you out.
Interviewer: So you only get to be king for a little while?
Lion: Unfortunately, yes, but it’s good while it lasts!
Interviewer: Well, thank you for the time, Your Majesty, and long may you reign!
Lion: You’re very welcome!