Lion recoms exist in various parts of the universe. Here I concentrate on the community that has formed on the planet Annyrion, in the Thinora sector.
Several generations ago, lion recoms have settled on the southern continent of Annyrion, Lopanga, where they found living conditions similar to those of their wild ancestors on Earth. They are, for the most part, large bipedal felines, with big muzzles, tufty tails and semi-digitigrade paws (walking on the toes but standing plantigrade). The males have long manes and the females typically retained the small nipples of their quadrupedal ancestors, though humanoid breasts occur as well.
Lions live in prides, consisting of several adult females and males with their cubs. The females usually stay in the same pride for their whole life, whereas the males join another pride as they grow up. The lions love to sleep outdoors if the weather is suitable; sometimes they sleep in tents or caverns. Some who have taken on jobs in towns live in houses as well, but a desire to live in wide open lands is common among all lions.
The lions of Annyrion have a strong feeling for family traditions, which are being upheld by the elder females of the group. Various aspects of Terran African, Arab and Oriental cultures have survived in the lion communities of Annyrion. Even though these lion recoms are literate, most of their stories are not written down, but told from generation to generation. With their social, outgoing nature, lions tend to be in the center of any event, even when among other species.
The lions living in the savannah or desert prefer to hunt for their own food (as a whole pride), wherever they can. They traditionally go hunting unclothed and unarmed, relying on their claws and teeth, and prefer their meat fresh, raw and body-warm. Other cultures tend to regard their eating manners as not very refined, whereas many lions can't stand eating anything that has been dead for more than a few hours. A number of those lions who have moved to cities and are closer to the general furry civilization in their eating habits - but most of them still consider fresh raw met to be delicious.
When getting together for formal events or when going out to more “civilized” cultures, lions do wear clothes. Their clothing styles are mostly influenced by their African and Oriental origins, but often modified to make them more practical. Males wear wide knee to ankle length pants together with shirts and/or vests; those who have settled in the desert protect their manes from the sandstorm with turbans. Females are most often wearing sleeveless dresses, also reaching to the knees or ankles, longer for more formal events. The paws generally remain bare. Since the discovery of gold in parts of Annyrion, golden jewelry is increasingly popular among lions, often in combination with precious stones (where these can be found is a secret of the lions), and a number of them appear to be fond of decorating themselves.
Most lions are quite happy with where they live, and though they look up to the stars at night, they have no great desire to travel there, so only few of them can be found aboard spaceships. With their dislike of confined spaces, they wouldn't be happy there for long. Still, a few have travelled to the stars and spread to the rest of the universe. Of course, lions exist in the other inhabited worlds as well; some of them have integrated in their environment, while Annyrion traditions are fashionable among others - even some other species and cultures have taken over aspects from it, in various parts of the universe, as a counterweight to a technology-dominated environment.
The first stages of life are very similar to natural lions. Pregnancy lasts 102 to 113 days, the weight at birth is 1 to 2 kg. The eyes are opened in the first few days after birth, first milk teeth grow after three weeks, they can walk on four legs at the age of six weeks, and start eating meat at the age of two months, though they drink mother milk until the age of 7 to 12 months. After about a year they learn to walk on two legs, though never lose the ability to walk four-legged, which is the preferred mode when hunting. At the age of 12 to 15 months, the second set of teeth grows.
Lions learn the lion language in their first half year, but it takes at least a year longer until they can learn the common recom language. At the age of six or seven they can be considered adult.
As a result of their genetic modifications, the leonine recoms of Annyrion have a much longer life than their wild counterparts of Earth. The biological limit is somewhere around seventy years.
Tonight! Far away in space, the planet Annyrion in the Thinora sector holds a landscape and culture strikingly familiar to those who know of old Earth's history. Our guest is a lioness from one of the prides there, rich in tradition: Leonie.
Q - Good evening. Does your culture consist only of lions?
A - Hi there! We are mostly lions, but open to other species, which can be integrated into our community as long as they don't feel intimidated among all the lions.
Q - Can I be a member?
A - Sure, if you have the feeling you would fit in well. I would say that our community is suited best for those who enjoy outdoors, freedom, nature and open lands, who like to be lazy and cuddle, but who are also not disturbed by changing weather and the imponderabilities of nature.
Q - Where can I live?
A - You have several possibilities. You can, for example, settle down in the village of Savakatan, east of the Savannah, a general living place for all, and Lion Valley, west of Lake Upemba, where (as the name says) mostly lions have their home.
Q - I want to build more than just a home! Can I do it there?
A - Certainly! Landscape builders are welcome here. You can build anything that fits in a tropical weather zone, be it desert, steppe, savannah, mountains, rainforest, dry forest, lakes, coasts, rivers, a Ngorongoro-like crater … If you look at our map, you will see that there is plenty of “unexplored” space to the east and west to expand. The east is mostly flatlands, the west is more mountainous.
Q - Would you ever like to live anywhere else?
A - I would like to explore space some time, but I have not heard of a better place to live yet. And we lions are just like that: We stay where we like it best.
Q - Who is The Lion King?
A - Nobody. Our community doesn't have one leader - it is self-organized. This means that every pridemate is regarded as equal, though the pride will follow the one with most experience if the need occurs.
Q - Who is Number One?
A - We are not numbered. If you are interested in database positions, I am Number 9931.
Q - How is the weather there?
A - Moderately warm, sometimes hot at noon. Now and then it rains. In the desert, it is hotter and of course comparably dry. All around the weather is pleasant. The Savannah is a weather zone, using Furscape's weather system; if you build there, you can choose to join the zone (ask me for details).
Q - Leonie, you were born in the lands where you live now. If you told me a bit of the history and origins of your culture - what are the key points of your ancestors settling here?
A - As you know, the lands where lions once roamed on Earth are right now not suitable for living. The Lunar domes were unsatisfying for our ancestors, who were looking for the open lands of old. So they boarded exploration spaceships and landed, several generations ago now, on the planet Annyrion which offers similar living conditions to the lands of Africa and India. Herds of Terran-originating herbivores were settled there as well and prospered quite well in the savannah, so within a few years, a new eco-system was established. And now it seems like centuries - like so often, history seems to stretch when looking back.
Q - You go hunting? What guns do you use?
A - None. We are lions, guns are for wimps. We have claws and teeth, and we know how to use them. Yes, we go out hunting in the nude, it's tradition.
Q - Will you eat me?
A - Only if you ask nicely. No, we don't eat pridemembers or any members of our community. There is enough else to hunt.
Q - And then you eat it raw?
A - Yes, that's what we inherited from our ancestors, the wild lions of Africa and India. It must be fresh though - still carrying the warmth of life in it. For a change we like cooked meat as well, or even vegetables, but we are still primarily carnivores.
If herbivores/vegetarians want to join our community, it's not a problem though: the savannah has a lot of tasty fruits and vegetables.
Q - But when not hunting, you do wear clothes?
A - When we feel like it, yes … Not usually when snuggling or sleeping; we don't really have a nudity taboo here. But for style, protection against the weather or the sandstorms in the desert, we have a variety of things that we wear - some are only symbolic, others cover us from neck to ankle …
Q - You always go barepawed?
A - Sure, we are furries after all! It's fun and more practical. And we like to identify each other's pawprints on the soft ground to see, or guess, who has been where. Try it for yourself! Don't worry, there are no thistles or any such icky things.
Q - So what do you do the whole day long?
A - It seems that people say that we are lazy - well, we just like to save energy, so we can be even more energetic when it comes to the fun sides of life, together with our pridemates. Exploring, just cuddling, or anything that comes to mind.
Q - Pride? Community? I'm still confused.
A - A pride consists of those who usually live together, typically some females who are often closely related to each other family-wise, and males who were born elsewhere and joined the pride when they reached adult age. The community consists of many prides and those who have chosen other forms of living, also of a number of different species.
Q - So those furries who decide to join - will they be alone at first?
A - We are doing our best that they are not alone - that is what our community is for! We integrate them and are together with them whenever we can.
Q - How difficult is it to join a pride?
A - To join a pride, you should first get to know all pride members and be accepted by them. You might be asked to assume certain customs, depending on the pride. You will see once you move in. You may also start your own pride, the interaction between prides can make things even more interesting.
Q - Leonie, allow me one last question. What are the qualities you are looking for in those who are coming to your lands?
A - Sociability, a sense for equality and for the joys of life. The ability to enjoy nature as it is, to relax and have fun with your fellow lions and others in our lands. Living here requires some independence from technology as we don't have an electricity grid or other infrastructure services, but the conditions are favourable that you won't miss them.
Thank you, Leonie, I hope to see you again some time in our show. Good night!
The Annyrion Lions are © Mran and Leonie of Furscape, as well as other players of the species.