Have you ever wondered if lions eat other lions? Have you ever heard of an instance where lions ate other lions?
Lions are not viewed as cannibals in a normal society. While there have been instances of cannibalism over the years, this is not a normal practice for lions.
Lions are predators and meat eaters, but they usually don’t go after their own kind unless there is a reason or a necessity to do so.
Lions prefer a diet consisting of antelopes, gazelles, zebras, and other big animals but don’t typically resort to cannibalism.
Lions get their nutrients from the animals they consume (which are mostly herbivores), so eating their own is not ideal to sustain them.
That was just a brief overview, but please continue to read to learn all about a lion’s eating habits and why they do (and don’t) eat other lions.
Do Lions Eat Other Lions?
Lions do not eat other lions under normal circumstances. However, lions may eat other lions during dire circumstances. If food is scarce then lions can resort to cannibalism, but this is not something they participate in on a regular basis.
The Mapogo lion coalition is the most famous instance where lions were known to kill and eat other lions.
The Mapogo lions were a coalition that consisted of up to six adult males at its most dangerous. These lions would end up taking over and dominating an area of approximately 170,000 acres, killing many lions (males, females, and cubs) in the process.
It is believed that the Mapogo lions were responsible for around 100 lion deaths and some of them were known to kill and consume other lions.
However, I must state that this is an anomaly and lions don’t typically have this type of behavior, hence why this particular instance has been noted in history.
If lions killed lions all the time, the Mapogo lion coalition wouldn’t even be a story, or at least not as well-known.
Do Lions Eat Dead Lions?
Lions do not eat dead lions unless they are starving and can’t find any other prey to consume. Lions are not typically cannibals and prefer herbivores over carnivores in their diets.
Lions don’t see other lions as food or prey and don’t have the desire to hunt and kill other lions unless there is no other choice and no other food sources available.
Cannibalism is fairly common in the animal kingdom when there are hardships and dire circumstances to overcome. Most animals (no matter the species) will resort to cannibalism when absolutely necessary.
Humans are no exception. If you go back through the history of humanity, you will find many instances of cannibalism. While people don’t see other people as food, their mindset may start to change when they begin starving.
Same with lions. They don’t see other lions as food unless they are starving as well.
Do Lions Eat Lion Cubs?
Lions do not eat lion cubs but in many instances, lions will kill lion cubs that aren’t their own. This usually happens when other adult males take over a new pride.
Pride males aren’t particularly fond of raising another lion’s cubs, so they will kill them if they get the opportunity when taking over a pride.
That is not to say that lions have never eaten lion cubs. It does happen in nature, just not enough to consider lions full fledge cannibals.
One or several of the Mapogo lions were known to consume lion cubs when they were decimating 8 different lion prides during their reign over the Sabi Sand region between 2006 and 2008.
While this was the most active time for the Mapogo lions, they actually didn’t split until 2012 when they separated into two smaller groups and inhabited different regions (with some crossover) at that time.
The Mapogo lion coalition was active over a 16-year span, wreaking havoc and creating chaos for lion prides wherever they roamed.
Why Don’t Lions Eat Other Lions?
Lions don’t eat other lions on a regular basis because they don’t see each other as food unless they are starving and have no other options.
Lions don’t eat other lions because they are carnivores. Carnivores, like lions, need to consume herbivores so that they can get the nutrients they need in order to survive.
If lions only ate meat eaters, then their diet would be completely wrecked and they probably wouldn’t survive for very long. Lions need to consume animals that eat plants so that they too can get the nutrients from the plants since lions don’t typically consume vegetation.
In really hot climates, lions may consume some form of vegetation because that may be the only way they can get a source of water, but it is not common for lions to eat plants.
Do Lions Hunt Other Lions?
Lions do not hunt other lions for the purpose of killing and eating them unless they are on the verge of starvation. Lions may hunt or track other lions if they are attempting to take over a pride.
But lions don’t typically hunt other lions under normal circumstances. Lions don’t hunt other lions because they see them as prey and food.
There is almost always an observable reason why lions will hunt, stalk, kill, and eat other lions.
Do Lions Kill Other Lions?
Lions do kill other lions but this usually isn’t for the purpose of eating the other lions. It is not common for lions to kill other lions unless there is a reason for the killing.
Lions will kill other adult male lions over territories and when taking over prides. Adult male lions will sometimes kill lionesses if they refuse to mate with them.
There have been some cases here and there when lions were observed killing and eating other lions, but these cases are rare and are usually because of specific reasons like starvation or territory disputes.
Why Do Lions Kill Other Lions?
Lions only kill other lions when necessary or to rid the pride of cubs that aren’t their own lion cubs.
Lions will kill other lions over territories and when they take over prides, but lions don’t kill other lions because they want to eat them.
Adult male lions will sometimes kill lionesses if they refuse to mate with them, but this is also on rare occasions.
To recap, lions do not eat other lions unless there is no other food source available and they have to resort to cannibalism. Lions do not eat other lions on a regular basis.
Lions don’t kill other lions just to kill them either. Lions will mainly kill when there is a purpose behind the killings.
Lions will kill lion cubs that aren’t their own when they take over a pride. Lions will also fight other rival males when nesessary but this doesn’t always mean that they kill the other lions.
The most notable instance of cannibalism was when the Mapogo lion coalition killed around 100 lions during their reign. One or more of the lions were known to have eaten lion cubs when they would decimate the pride the cubs were a part of.
Lions don’t see other lions as prey and in most instances, will only resort to cannibalism if they are starving and have no other way to get food.
Lions don’t kill each other for sport and there is usually a reason behind the killing, which includes territorial disputes and pride takeovers.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out other lion articles I’ve written. I’m sure you will enjoy reading them as much as this one.