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What Eats Lions? Their Top 5 Natural Enemies

The lion is a fearsome cat of the genus Panthera. It has a muscular, deep-chested body, short round head, round ears, and a hairy tuft at the end of its tail. Most lions are natives of Africa and India.

What eats lions? No predator hunts lions to eat them, but they have some natural enemies, which will be discussed in this article. Keep scrolling to find out more about lion predators.

Do Lions Have Predators?

Lions do have Predators. Apart from humans, lions have a few Predators that do attack and kill them. For instance, a cub or a sickly lion might be attacked by hyenas. They are also being threatened by poachers who hunt them and encroach on their habitat.

What Animals Eat Lions: Top 5 Lions Predators

Lion and hyena fighting


Hyenas are the most common large Predators in Africa and are often scavengers. Hyenas are one of the lions’ natural worst enemies. Since adult lions are difficult to kill because it takes up to 10 hyenas to take down a lioness, and the number doubles with a male lion, hyenas go for the cubs or the dead lions.

Lion predators - Buffalo


Buffalo is a giant-sized animal that’s been recorded trampling and killing its victims, including lions. They often defend themselves by killing lions and other animals that pose a threat. The buffalo’s strength is so great that its chance of winning a one-on-one battle with a lion is 100%.

Also read: Do Lions and Tigers Live Together?

Lion predators - Crocodile


Crocodiles are aquatic ambush reptiles in Africa, Australia, Asia, and the United States. Crocodiles’ most successful attack on lions is underwater. The best time they attack the lion is when it is exhausted and ready to take a lap from the shallow water. The crocodile patiently waits for the right time to launch an attack.

Lion predators - Porcupine


It’s pretty unbelievable a little creature can bring down the king of the jungle. They may appear harmless, but historically porcupines kill lions, leopards, and hyenas. They kill them when their spikes successfully penetrate the heart or major arteries.

Also read: Lion vs. Leopard: Main Differences & Who Would Win a Fight?

Lion predators - Baboons


Surprisingly, baboons also are natural enemies of the lion. Baboons are known to steal lion cubs, employing a few different daring tactics. Most of the time, the stolen cubs end up dead. You can read our detailed article about this.

What Animals Eat Dead Lions?

Because of how strong the lion is, many animals can’t eat it till it’s dead, and these animals are called scavengers because they feed off dead and decaying animals. Some animals are Hyenas, vultures, jackals, marabou storks, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Hyenas Eat Lions?

Due to how strong the lion is, The hyenas don’t stand a chance to take down the adult lion. It takes up to 10 hyenas to take down a lioness and double the amount to take the lion down. So the hyenas go for the cubs instead.

Do Hyenas Eat Dead Lions?

Hyenas are known to be one of the lion’s worst natural enemies. Since the hyenas don’t stand a chance one on one with the Adult lion, the only chance they have to eat the lion is when it’s dead because they are scavengers.

Do Tigers Eat Lions?

There have been cases of confrontation between tigers and Asiatic lions in the past when they still had overlapping territories. Nowadays, what makes the circumstance impossible is that both do not live in the same habitat. The Asiatic lion specifically lives in the Gir Forest in India, while the tiger lives in other forest environments across India and Asia. This makes it quite impossible for them to meet.

Do People Eat Lion?

Yes, most people eat lion meat because lion meat is not poisonous, and with proper preparation and cooking, lion meat is safe to eat. Though it is a rarely served dish, it does appear on tables in some African countries and occasionally India

Do Hippos Eat Lions?

Hippos can’t eat lions because they are herbivores. Herbivores depend on just plants. Their system is unable to digest meat, just grass which makes it difficult for them to eat meat and don’t kill lions for food.

Do Baboons Eat Lions Cubs?

Baboons do eat lion cubs. Adult baboons are known to steal and kill leopards and lion cubs when they find them unattended or not close to adult lions. They seize the opportunity and grab the cubs for food.

Are Lions and Hyenas Enemies?

Lions and hyenas are enemies. This is because both the lion and the hyenas cover the same ground, hunt and eat the same prey, and scavenge the remains of animals. That’s why they are natural enemies cause they often clash when they want to attack the same prey.

Can a Cheetah Kill a Lion?

The Cheetah is well known for its incredible speed and killing techniques, but a Cheetah doesn’t stand a chance one on one against a lion because a lion is a lot stronger than the Cheetah, and the only advantage a Cheetah has over a lion is its speed.

Is a Lion a Predator or a Prey?

Lions are fierce Predators known to stalk their prey before attacking them. Lions are predators because only a few animals can stand a chance against a lion. However, they are prey to a few animals, particularly the cubs.

How Do The Lions Defend Themselves?

The male lion defends the pride’s territory by marking the area with urine and roaring.

Menacingly to warn intruders from trespassing and chasing off animals. However, young male lions eventually leave and establish their pride by taking over a group of herds by another lion.

Learn More About Lions

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