THE PRIDE OF PARADISE
Lions are very social animals, unlike other cats, and live in a family group called a pride. They are highly territorial and can occupy the same area for generations if there is plenty of prey available. In ideal conditions, pride numbers can reach up to 40 members - made up of related females, their offspring plus the male/s.
We have been breeding Lions for over 30 years, and all of our current Lions have been born at Paradise. They all have distinctive personalities, likes and dislikes and even individual food preferences.
Unfortunately we have had to say goodbye to our Lion King, Max. He was the eldest male lion we were privileged to have at Paradise reaching the impressive age of 19 years old. He was a fair and respected leader for all of his adult life and he has left a huge hole in the pride.
Despite being in charge of the pride from a young age, Max had a fairly calm disposition and was not overly aggressive for a male lion. Due to Max being so placid, he was actually the first lion we would introduce all of our cubs to. He was very patient with them, and had to put up with them investigating his mane for the first time and climbing all over him.
Max had a very close bond with lioness Ryo who passed away in 2017 aged 22 years. He is buried next to Ryo and overlooking his pride.
BORN: 20th October 2004.
Luca is our oldest lion.
She is the lightest in colour of all of our lions.
Luca is mum to Hana and also to littermates Ayla and Aleekah.
She gave birth to Hana at two years old, which is quite young as lions normally breed from around three or four years old. Not only did she successfully raise Hana, but she also took on and raised another cub Ben who was born a few days prior to Hana after his mother Ryo's milk dried up, which was common for her.
BORN: 5th March 2007.
Hana is currently our most dominant lioness at Paradise.
Her coat colour is very dark.
Hana is a very good mother, and is mum to littermates Benji and Bella, as well as our youngest male Xander. Lionesses will usually feed their cubs for 6-12 months, but Hana feeds and cares for hers for a lot longer. Like most mothers she has a close relationship with her adult offspring.
BORN: 2nd August 2011.
Benji is one of our best looking male lions.
Nicknamed Ben Junior, he is named after his father Ben who left the park before he was born.
Benji mostly has a placid and gentle nature, and is one of the only males that will hardly ever growl while being handfed.
Being a male lion, the lionesses generally show him respect and get out of his way at feeding times. The only one who is not afraid to push the limits with him is his littermate Bella, which she does regularly and much to Benji's dismay. Littermates always have a tight-knit relationship throughout their lives and Benji and Bella are very close.
BORN: 2nd August 2011.
Bella is our most confident lion.
She is very similar in looks to her mother Hana, but is a lot chubbier as she absolutely loves her food.
Being confident, she is not afraid to get in amongst the males at feeding times. She is always the first to find, claim and defend any new enrichment items. Bella is one of the only lions we've ever had that will eat pork, albeit reluctantly.
Unusually for a lioness, Bella can get quite grumpy at times and sometimes has a short fuse. She has been known to growl at visitors if they have annoyed her - for example if someone is standing in her line of sight when she is eyeing up a small child or something else of interest.
BORN: 21st February 2012.
Ayla is our smallest lioness.
She is a real sweetheart and has a lovely relaxed nature.
She doesn't like conflict, and although she is confident, she tends to stay away from any aggression at feeding time. For this reason you will notice she doesn't have many scars on her face.
The rare times that Ayla is ever aggressive is when she is really hungry. Normally a placid and quiet lioness, she will fight off any lions that come anywhere near her during this time, including the males, and they all know to keep well away if she is grumpy.
BORN: 21st February 2012.
Aleekah is a quite a dominant lioness.
She has always had a very close relationship with her mother Luca, much more so than her sister Ayla.
She does not get on with older sister Hana at all. Aleekah started challenging Hana for her place in the pride hierarchy when she was only two years old, which Hana opposed, and the two have never gotten along since.
BORN: 20th September 2013.
Xander is currently our youngest lion, and he was the most recent cub born at Paradise.
He may be the 'baby' of the pride, but Xander is actually the largest lion at Paradise at around 200kg. As with most male lions he is aggressive around food and due to his large size some of the lionesses are a bit wary of him, but he is mostly a big softy.
He gets on extremely well with older half-brother Benji and they spend most of their time with each other, and Xander actually pines for him when they aren't together.