Do lions eat other lions?

In this brief blog we will answer the question,” Do lions eat other lions?” We will also look at related topics such as, if lions eat other lion’s cubs, if female lions eat male lions, if lions eat dead lions. We will also discuss the circumstances that make lions eat other lions and what lions eat.

Do lions eat other lions?

No, lions do not eat other lions as well as other predators unless in times of extreme scarcity and desperation like when there is food shortage. Even in times of extreme food scarcity lions will seek to kill the oldest lion to avoid starvation. They are also known to kill cubs when they are staking their claim on a lioness.

Do lions eat other lion’s cubs?

Yes, lions have been documented to kill and eat cubs of other lions as a way of eliminating them from a pride that they have inherited. This is usually to claim the lioness to come in their possession. 

Also cubs that are not biologically related may hunt down and kill cubs of their former fathers when they conquer new territories. 

The female lion takes about 2 years to mate again after she gives birth to newborn cubs. As a result, male lions can kill and eat the previous cubs so that the lioness breeds again so that they can have their own cubs.

Do female lions eat male lions?

The lioness of the pride are usually the hunters with the male lions only offering assistance. There have been documented incidents where male lions were killed by the lioness with one of such incidents taking place in West Midland Safari park in the United Kingdom.

Do lions eat dead lions?

Lions prefer eating and having a fresh kill and they usually shy away from eating dead animals. However, lions have been known to steal animals that are a fresh kill from other animals such as the hyena.

Lions as mentioned don’t like eating carrion or scavenging from other lions. However in times of extreme hunger and starvation, there have been incidents where lions have consumed dead animals and carrion so as not to die of starvation.

What are the circumstances that lead a lion to eat another lion?

Bizarre events

Nature is very unpredictable and at times very surprising events do occur. Sometimes animals may develop very strange behavior. For instance, in the Kruger National Park the Mapogo lion coalition which was a pride of male lions in South Africa killed more than 100 lions.

They did this so as to take control of an area of 170,000 acres and rule over eight prides. It was even reported that one of the Mapogo lions was seen eating cubs.

Eliminate cubs

Lions sometimes like challenging other alpha lions form different prides and the winner rules and inherits the fallen lion’s pride.

In this scenario, the new ruler may inherit the cubs from the pride that it takes over. Such Lions have been reported to kill and eat the cubs so as to eliminate genes.

Lioness usually are not ready to mate until they complete nursing and so by killing the cubs, the new ruler stakes on the lioness who will come into season much faster then.

Lioness have also been reported to commit infanticide although this are very rare circumstances. This is said to happen if the offspring seem to have physical impediments or if they have some sort of strange behavior.

Cubs can also be killed in periods of scarcity and starvation and the lioness may kill her cubs so as to increase its chances of survival.

Lionesses may also eat their cub in order to eliminate attention from other predators.

Food scarcity

As earlier mentioned, in periods when there is food scarcity, lions may resort to kill and eat the old lions or lions that are injured or sick so as to not die of starvation.

What do lions eat?

Lions are an apex predator and have very good hunting skills and prowess. They are carnivores primarily feeding on meat and they can consume about 70 lbs (32 kgs) in just one sitting. 

Lions are known to hunt down, kill and eat animals such as Warthogs, zebras, wildebeest, cattle, chital, antelopes, buffalos, wild pig, nilgai, camel, deer, baboons, giraffes and other animals.


In this brief blog we have answered the question,” Do lions eat other lions?” We have also looked at related topics such as, if lions eat other lion’s cub, if female lions eat male lions, uf lions eat dead lions. We have also discussed the circumstances that make lions eat other lions and what lions eat.


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