Do Lions Attack and Eat Humans? (Interesting Facts)

Lions are to be feared upon, and it’s all because of their fierceness and brutality against their prey. For this reason, you may wonder if lions would do the same with humans if they ever meet one. Thus, you may ask:

Do lions attack and eat humans? Lions do attack and eat humans, and it’s one of the things you need to keep in mind in the wild. Lions act on instinct, and they would hunt any human upon sight, especially if they are hungry.

Lions are fierce and aggressive animals. Moreover, they aren’t picky with their target or prey. If you need proof, take note that lions cause 250 human casualties per year.

In this article, we’ll cover lions and how they see and attack humans. This way, you can understand how dangerous these animals are and help you make sense of how they see us.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Do lions eat humans?

Lions do eat humans, and they would attack any human if they see one.

As wild animals, lions live in the wild and survive by eating the prey they hunt.

Thus, lions can sleep all day if they aren’t hungry, and they can be fierce enough to take an elephant down if they starve.

With this in mind, you should remember that humans would also be a potential prey for these animals.

For this reason, it’s no wonder why lions attack and eat humans. Of course, it’s all a drive from their instinct, and it’s not something they take personally.

Do lions like the taste of humans?

Lions are carnivores which means they prefer meat and eat meat all the time. It doesn’t matter where the meat comes from, so you can say human meat is no exception.

Human meat is a rare food for lions, and it’s because they don’t get to have such all the time.

Lions prefer other animals all the time, and it’s because it’s what they usually find and hunt.

Still, they won’t say no to any humans that they see roaming in their territory.

Related: Do Lions Like Humans?

How many humans can a lion eat?

Humans come in different sizes and weights. Moreover, a lion’s appetite depends on how hungry it is.

For instance, a lion needs at least 15-25 pounds of meat per day. However, they can go for 14 days without eating. Once they starve, they can eat as much as a hundred pounds in one meal.

Since humans weigh an average of 150 pounds, a starving lion can eat a whole full-grown human in one sitting.

Do lions attack humans?

Lions do attack humans, and they would do so when they see any human in their territory.

Some villages near the wilderness have cases where lions take humans and attack their areas.

Of course, it rarely happens since lions usually go for other animals as prey. However, it can also happen that they find no available prey near their area that they go in far distances.

A starving lion is quite dangerous because they don’t get picky with their target. Moreover, these animals can be pretty aggressive and fierce.

Now, if a tiger just had its fill, it’ll likely be inactive and sleep all day.

Are lions dangerous to humans?

Lions are dangerous to humans who would wander in their territory. However, some humans know how to deal with lions and know when to stay away and when to approach.

Another thing that can make lions extremely dangerous is when they get provoked by humans.

Humans tend to create a scene where they bring guns and hunt as well. When lions feel the threat, they get challenged and be more aggressive.

Moreover, as I said earlier, lions can also be dangerous when they haven’t eaten in days. The hunger can drive them to be more aggressive and would run faster and move quicker.

dangerous lion to humans

How does a lion kill a human?

When lions kill a human, it’s just like their hunting other animals. The first thing lions do is to get as close as possible without getting noticed.

Such a thing is possible for lions since they can be good at stalking. They remain entirely still that they are unnoticeable by their prey.

As they get into a safe distance, they stop for a while and wait for an opportunity to attack.

As soon as they do, they pounce and run towards their prey. If lions see a human, it’s likely that the human noticed them first and start running.

Running is a hopeless thing for humans since lions can run as much as 50 miles per hour.

These animals would then grab the prey using their sharp claws. Lions target the hind feet or legs of the prey to stop it from escaping.

Once they pin the prey, they would go for the kill by biting the prey’s neck.

Important to Know: How to Survive a Lion Attack?

Do lions attack humans for no reason?

Lions don’t attack without any reason, and the same goes even if their target is a human. Humans are one of the easy targets for lions. Thus, they also become prone to lion attacks.

In general, there are three reasons why lions would attack humans. Among these are the following:


Hunger is a common reason why a lion would attack a human. If lions haven’t eaten for days, these animals will run for humans to kill and eat.

Threat to cubs

Female lions would see humans as another threat to their cubs. Since they are overprotective, they can be pretty aggressive to humans and attack them.

Threat to themselves

Lions rarely see humans as a threat, but it’s possible, especially if they are sick or weakened. Thus, they would attack a human if their presence feels threatening.

Are there lions that eat only humans?

Though it’s pretty rare, some lions got reported for being man-eaters. In short, these lions eat humans as a regular part of their meal and not the last available option.

Of course, these lions would still attack other animals, whichever is available.

In general, it can happen that lions would go for humans first since they find these potential prey all the time.


So, do lions attack and eat humans? Lions do attack and eat humans. Like other animals, lions act on instinct, and they would hunt any human upon sight, especially if they are hungry. Other reasons would be when humans provoke lions by threatening them or threatening their cub.

Lions are aggressive animals. Further, they aren’t picky with their target or prey. It’s the reason why lions can cause hundreds of human casualties per year.


Image credits – Canva

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I'm David, and safari has been my passion since I was a little boy - I grew up in South Africa. I love to help spread knowledge about safari, so let me know if you have any questions. Read more