Do Lions eat other Lions? What you need to Know

Lions are aggressive species. Most people know that lions are natural predators of other animals, but we never consider that they also consume each other. So, do lions eat other lions?

Lions do not consume, hunt, or kill other lions. They will only consume another lion in dire circumstances, such as when there is a major food scarcity, and even then, only the oldest lion in the pride.

This article examines every aspect of lions eating lions. Males, females, cubs, and further cubs of the lion. When they do and do not, and why, plus further information. Continue reading to find out.

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Do Lions Eat Other Lions?

Lions rarely eat other lions. Pride animals care for each other and won’t attack.

These creatures hunt and catch prey together. Lions snooze and bond. They don’t eat other lions, but it’s possible. Lions are social but dominant.

 They will battle for territory or against another lion. Lions kill each other in these circumstances. Because defeating the other rival lion allows the winner to assert their dominance. These animals can also consume lion carcasses. 

Do Lions Eat Lions When They Die?

There are various causes of lions’ demise. However, other lions may or may not consume their bodies after death. As stated previously, lion meat lacks the nutritional value of herbivore flesh. Whether they would consume a lion’s corpse depends on the availability of food and their hunger.

For example, if the pride hasn’t eaten in days and is ravenous, they may feast on a dead lion. However, if they have recently eaten and one of their own dies, it is unlikely that they will consume it.

Why Do Lions Eat Other Lions?

As stated previously, lions eat other lions because they are anxious to do so. Or, they are competing for territory or domination over one another. Lions also eat other lions, especially male lions, if a lioness doesn’t want to mate with them.

Lions can also consume their offspring, particularly male cubs. Thus, they demonstrate to their lioness that she is theirs and should neglect their cubs. It is for this reason that lionesses look for dens and move away from their pride when they are about to give birth.

Do Female Lions Eat Male Lions?

Male lions are naturally bigger and stronger than female lions, which makes it hard for female lions to kill and eat them.

Do Male Lions Eat Female Lions?

Typically, a dominant male lion will accept and welcome a female lion into his pride. When a male lion kills another male lion, it is typically during a battle. On rare occasions, the pieces of their dead opponents have been seen being thrown at each other. 

Lions enjoy eating their leaders, but they have never killed each other in order to accomplish this. There are numerous hypotheses as to why this could provoke such aggressiveness in a pride of lions.

Do Lions Like Lion Meat?

Lions dislike eating their own meat, since it is not as nutritious as the meat of their usual victim. Notable is the fact that lions dislike a predator’s food. Therefore, they typically target herbivores like zebras, gazelles, and giraffes. The reason is that the predator’s meal lacks the necessary nutrients.

Do Lions Eat Other Lions’ Cubs?

On rare occasions, lions do consume young lions. As with other species, male lions consume babies for a variety of reasons. First, it may be an expression of the lioness’s desire for attention. Since the cubs receive so much attention from the lioness, they consume their own cubs to gain the lioness’s attention.

Do Lions Eat Their Cubs?

Occasionally, lions consume their pups, but some lionesses are intelligent enough to prevent this from happening. The lone motivation for lions to consume newborn cubs is to assert their authority.

Consequently, lionesses who are about to give birth typically leave the pride. They seek a den or safe spot to give birth, raise their cubs, and avoid being killed by male lions.

What Do Lions Usually Eat?

Generally, lions avoid elephants, rhinoceroses, and hippos of adult age. However, if they are starving, a pride of lions would attempt to kill these large beasts as well.

The majority of prey is taken by female lions, who are also the primary hunters. The lionesses would act as a team when hunting. They would disperse and assault the herd from multiple directions. Typically, they would attempt to get as close to their victim as possible, as they are not known for their stamina.

Consequently, they hunt in brief bursts. Typically, they pounce on the backs of animals and bite the neck, causing fatal damage. Male lions, on the other hand, are known to take food from other predators. They consume carrion whenever they have the opportunity.

Most animal carcasses come from animals that hyenas have killed, which is a big part of what they eat. Typically, the strongest males eat first, followed by the lionesses. However, when major kills are accomplished, the prey is shared with other members of the pride.

How Do Lions Hunt?

Lions have been reported to hunt larger prey than smaller animals more frequently. When hunting, four or five lions will work cooperatively to bring down a single animal. The pride will begin stalking its victim from up to a half-mile away. 

As soon as the lioness indicates she is prepared to attack, the pride will surround the animal within seconds. After bringing down an animal, a lioness will retreat so that another member of the pride can attack. The members of the pride will continue to bite and scratch their prey until it is dead.

Additionally, lions have been observed hunting in pairs, with one lion following the prey while the other waits in ambush. They have even been observed using collaboration to catch birds.


Typically, lions do not consume other lions. Desperate times need desperate means. If a lion is starving to death, it will occasionally consume its own kind. On the contrary, eating too young is far more common. Male lions would kill and consume other pride cubs to conquer new territory. 

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