The lion is a big powerful cat. It is probably the most famous member of the cat family. People are frightened by the lion’s thundering roar and impressed by its strength and royal appearance. The lion is called the “king of beasts” and is a well known symbol of both beauty and power.
In anciet times, lions lived in Europe, the Middle East, India, and much of Africa. But nowadays most of the lions live in national parks and areas called reserves, where the animals are protected from hunter. Hundreds of lions also live in captivity in zoos throughout the world. And trained lions are popular performers in circuses.
For centuries, lions have been caged by people. The lion was the battle mascot of Pharaoh Ramses III and was taken by him into the battlefield. Elagabalus, a Roman, had a chariot that was drawn by lions.
In circuses and menageries, one of the favorite attractions of the people includes lions that have been trained to perform. The reason why lions are such amazing show animals is that they look extremely vicious. The training of a lion to perform starts when it is around two years old. The trainer is safe as long as he is not cruel to the lion, takes great care while training, and keeps in mind that the lion will never be completely under his control. But lions there have still been cases when a lion being trained has attacked or mangled its trainer.
Nowadays a lot of lions are born while they are in captivity to be provided to the circuses and zoos that want them. Lionesses in zoos have at an average three litters annually. They no longer have to be captured in the wild and brought to circuses and zoos. This was done either by stealing cubs from the mothers, or by trapping them in pits burrowed in the ground or in nets.
It is quite easy to tame a lion cub. They make wonderful pets as long as they are small. But when they grow old, they increase in size as well as strength, and there is a possibility that they may be dangerous.
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