Do lions eat hyenas?

In this article, we are going to answer: do lions eat hyenas, what are lions, what are hyenas, what lions eat, and which animals kill hyenas. 

Do lions eat hyenas?

No, lions do not eat hyenas. Lions do eat hyenas but they do kill them because there is a belief that their meat does not taste as good as other animals. Hyenas are carnivores and their flesh does not taste the same as other animals that are herbivores. 

Lions commonly eat herbivores because their flesh is higher in some nutrients such as fat and protein. The most common reasons a lion might kill a hyena even if they are not going to eat it include

  • Hyenas were aggressive toward lions
  • Hyenas and lions were competing for the same food and/or territory
  • Hyenas were trying to hunt and kill female lions and lions were fighting back to protect their owns

What are lions?

Lions are mammals considered large cats that are part of the genus Panthera. Lions are native to Africa and India. They are really big cats with huge muscular bodies and are carnivores. Lions live in groups known as pride which consist of a group of males, females, and cubs. 

Female lions are the main hunters and leaders of the pride and they can hunt a variety of animals, primarily herbivores. 

Lions are known for being predators and are part of the top of the food pyramid. There have been cases in which lions can hunt humans if they feel danger from them. 

They are usually found in Africa, Southeast Europa, and India where there most lions live in Africa. About 94% of lions have disappeared and have evolved to live from tropical rainforests to deserts. Some subspecies of lions include

  • Extinct Barbary lion
  • Northern lion
  • Extinct cape lion
  • South lions
  • Asiatic lion
  • African lion

What are hyenas?

Hyenas are medium to large size carnivore animals that are an important part of the ecosystem and food pyramid of the wildlife in Africa. Hyenas are related to cats, the same as lions, but they are also related to dogs. 

They can weigh about 35 to 80 kilograms and live up to 20 years in the wild and 25 years in captivity. 

There are 4 types of hyenas even if a huge part of hyenas have been extinct because of climate change and humans.

  • Spotted hyena
  • They commonly eat reptiles, birds, wee bugs, wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes. 
  • Brown Hyena
  • They commonly eat birds and insect eggs. Brown hyena does not commonly kill their prey. 
  • Striped Hyena
  • They commonly eat impalas, gazelles, wildebeest, and zebras. Striped hyenas can also have the ability to eat goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, bugs, fruit, birds, reptiles, mice, and hares
  • Aardwolf 
  • They are not called hyenas but they are part of the family. They eat mostly termites. 

Hyenas are commonly found in Africa and in India. Spotted hyena, Brown hyena, and Striped hyena are found in Africa while Aardwolf hyena is found in Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt.

Hyenas are super fast animals that can run up to 60 to 70 km per hour. They are very intelligent animals that can kill a lion even if they are bigger than them. 

Hyenas are scavengers and commonly eat birds, lizards, snakes, fish, foxes, porcupines, eggs, and insects. There are also some types of hyenas that will take advantage of the predators and kill them such as wildebeest, antelope, hippos, and jackals. 

What do lions eat?

Lions eat herbivore animals that are below them in the food pyramid. The animals they hunt are medium size and commonly include

  • Wildebeests
  • Zebras
  • Antelopes
  • Water buffalo impala
  • Elephants
  • Giraffes
  • Rhinos
  • Hippos
  • Crocodiles

Which animals kill hyenas?

Some predators of hyenas include buffalo, lions, leopards, and crocodiles but the biggest threat to hyenas is humans. The expansion of humans is a danger to hyenas and their population has decreased significantly in the last few years. 


This article answered do lions eat hyenas, what are lions, what are hyenas, what lions eat, and which animals kill hyenas. 


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