How Long Do Lions Live – Lion Lifespan

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The lifespan of an animal is the average number of years between its birth and death. Animals in captivity tend to live longer than those in the wild as they are safe from natural calamities and predators, they have a regular supply of food and adequate medical care. While in the wild the lifespan of the animal depends upon its ability to survive against predators and find food. Lions even being the top predators faces a lot of threats in the wild and live a shorter life in the wild than in captivity. Here we have gathered complete information on How Long Do Lions Live which will give you an overview of the Lion Lifespan both in captivity and in the wild. You are going to learn the average lifespan of the lion, life expectancy, lifespan in the wild & captivity, lifespan of a male and female lion, the oldest lion ever, and many other interesting facts about Lion’s lifespan.

How Long Do Lions Live

  • Lions live for a maximum age of 16 years in the wild.
  • They live longer in captivity as compared to the wild.
  • In the wild, they are prone to natural threats, diseases, and food scarcity.
  • A lion starts to become weaker and then dies at the age of 10 to 15 years in the wild.
  • Lions live for up to 20 years in captivity.

How Long Do Lions Live - Lion Lifespan

1. Average Lifespan Of A Lion

  • The average lifespan of a lion in the wild is up to 13 years.
  • The average lifespan of female lions (lionesses) is longer than male lions.

2. Lion Life Expectancy 

  • The lion is an apex predator and exists at the top of the food chain.
  • There is no natural predator of the lion, so they live longer.
  • In the wild, the life expectancy of a lion is 10 to 16 years.
  • While in captivity, their life expectancy is up to 20 years.

3. How Long Do Lions Live In Captivity – Lions Lifespan In Captivity

  • Like many other animals, lions do well in captivity.
  • So in captivity, they live longer due to good care and the best food, which fulfills all their dietary requirements.
  • Their normal age in captivity is up to 20 years.
  • However, they can live there for a maximum age of 25 to 26 years.
  • While some records show their maximum age as 29 years. 

4. How Long Do Lions Live In The Wild – Lifespan Of A Lion In The Wild

  • Lions do not live much longer in the wild due to several factors including natural threats, food scarcity, diseases, and combats between pride.
  • Their normal age in the wild is 10 to 13 years.
  • They live for a maximum age of 15 to 16 years in the wild.
How Long Do Lions Live In The Wild
Lion in the Wild

5. How Long Do Male Lions Live – Male Lion Lifespan

  • Male lions usually have a short lifespan than female lions.
  • Male lions usually live for up to 12 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.
  • In the wild, many male lions are being killed before reaching an old age when they become involved in conflicts for gaining the power of pride and territory to become king.
  • Most male lions also leave their birth prides either themselves or they are forced to leave when reached into adulthood. In such a case, very few of them found a new territory and gain power while many of them do not survive.
  • When a leading male lion becomes weak, he is overthrown and exiled. Most of these lions do not survive for a long time and die.
  • In most cases, old male lions are also expelled from the pride as they are not capable anymore to fulfill the specific assigned tasks within the pride. Young and powerful male lions take their position. In such cases, old male lions do not survive for a long time and die of hunger rather than old age.
  • In captivity, male lions live long. They do not face the problems of hunger or conflicts in captivity and the only reason for their death is old age.
  • The recorded maximum age of male lions in captivity is 25 to 26 years.

6. How Long Do Female Lions Live

  • Female lions naturally live longer than male lions.
  • The possible reasons for their long life in the wild are:
    • Females lions do not involve in combats for gaining power within a territory.
    • Female lions are also not enforced to leave their birth pride after reaching adulthood.
    • When a male lion attacks a pride, it only combats and kills all the males while leaving the females.
    • In the wild, female lions live for up to 15 to 16 years.
    • While in captivity, they live for a maximum age of 25 to 26 years.
How Long Do Female Lions Live

7. How Long Do African Lions Live – African Lions Lifespan

  • African lions live for 10 to 14 years in the wild.
  • Like other lions, African lions live for about 20 years in captivity.

8. How Long Do White Lions Live – White Lions Lifespan

  • White lions are rare lions having white color due to genetic mutation.
  • They are specifically of the subspecies of Southern African lions.
  • Like other African lions, white lions also live for 10 to 14 years in the wild and about 20 years in captivity. 

9. Oldest Lion In The World – Oldest Lion Ever

  • A female African lion named “Zenda” was probably the world’s oldest lion.
  • She was held in the Philadelphia Zoo, USA.
  • At her death, she was 25 years old.
  • According to some records, the oldest lion in the world was 29 years old at the time of death.

10. How Long Can A Lion Live Without Food

  • Lions can survive for about 14 days without food.
  • If a lion is healthy and well protected from other animals and rival pride, it can live for an even longer time.
  • The maximum recorded time a lion lives without food is about a month.

Learn more: What Do Lions Eat


Murad Ali Khan is a researcher, writer & editor, who believes in generating quality content. He leads an awesome team of high school students, teachers & IT graduates who helps him in creating & maintaining educational Websites & Apps.
When not tinkering on the web, Murad enjoys going on hikes, read Latest Science News, plays tennis & hangs out with his friends.

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