Do Lions Have Predators? (+ What Animals Eat a Lion)

Lions are well-known for being one of the fiercest animals in the wild. Thus, it’ll make you wonder if an animal is strong enough to make these kings prey instead of predators. So, you may ask:

Do lions have predators? Lions don’t have predators that will hunt them down as food to eat. Still, these mighty animals have enemies that either fight them upon encountering or compete with their target prey. In general, no animal hunts lions for food.

Lions are one of the mightiest animals in the wild. Thus, they belong to the side that dominates their area. For this reason, no animal tries to search for them and hunt them as food. However, having no predator doesn’t mean they won’t get any enemies.

In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth take about lions and how they interact with other animals around their area in the wild. This way, you can see how lions live amidst their enemies and competitors.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What are lions’ biggest enemies?

While lions don’t have predators that hunt them down, it doesn’t mean a wild is safe. For instance, their home comes with so many enemies that can also kill them.

Among the enemies of lions are:

  • Elephant
  • Water Buffalo
  • Hyenas
  • Leopard
  • Rhinoceros
  • Tiger
  • African Wild Dog
  • Hippopotamus
  • Cheetah
  • Jackal
  • Crocodile
  • Pythons

Although lions usually win in so many instances, there are times when one of these animals kills or forces lions to retreat. In other cases, these animals either steal the prey of lions.

One thing to note is that many of the enemies of lions are big ones like elephants and hippopotamus. The reason is that their weight and massive bodies make them stand a chance against aggressiveness.

Still, when a pride of lions starves, they can take down these animals in a fight.

What animals can kill a lion?

Due to many enemies in the wild, some animals can kill a lion. Among these animals are the following:


Some may argue that lions have the upper hand against tigers. However, every match between the two tells the opposite. A tiger usually has a more massive build than a lion. Thus, tigers such as the Siberian and Bengal usually win against African Lions.


This massive animal is like a giant tank animal. Despite being an herbivore, a rhino can dominate a lion to protect itself against this predator. Since these animals are slower, the losing lions tend to run away, but some cases happened where lions got killed.


Gorillas and lions might live in different environments. However, they can meet. When they do, gorillas can overpower a lion with its power and stamina.


Buffaloes are famous for being aggressive to any animal it encounters. Thus, if it faces predators such as lions, they can put up quite a fight.

These animals can be fierce enough to force lions to run. In some cases, lions can be pretty persistent that they get killed.


A porcupine may not have killing aggression for a lion. However, this animal boasts of its deadly armor that can kill any lion that tries to hurt it.

The skin of porcupines has a sharp needle-like cover that can inflict deep wounds and injuries. Moreover, when poked by such armor, it’s pretty challenging to take it out. It’s due to this reason that lions get killed by these small animals.


Due to its towering height and massive build, a Giraffe can also be another nightmare for lions instead of easy prey.

Although this animal has no killing tools, its long and big legs can deliver fatal blows to any lion that wants to harm them. The only problem is that they can be pretty weak against the pride of lions.


A crocodile and a lion live in different areas in the wild. Thus, it’s pretty rare to see these two face each other. However, when they do, it’s not a good thing for a lion.

If the lion gets near the water, it can be a brutal fight, and it may end up as food for the crocodile.


Like rhinos, hippopotamus also has tank-like builds that make them a challenging enemy for lions. Besides the massive bodies, they also have strong jaws that can easily crush a lion.

The only downside is that they are nearsighted, which means a lion can escape if it gets a bit far.


Hyenas come in packs, and with many members, they can overpower a lion with ease. These animals have solid muscles and jaws, making them a challenger to a lion’s might. Many instances show how they can put a lion to death or have it flee from the area.

hyenna vs lion

What animal eats a lion?

Among the lists we’ve made, only two animals can eat lions. These animals are none other than hyenas and leopards.

These two animals can put up a great fight and even get the upper hand against the mighty lions.

If either of these two animals challenged a lion, it usually ends with lions being food to any of these two.

While the other animals above can kill lions, they will not likely eat these animals upon defeat since most of them are herbivores.

Thus, it’s only with hyenas and leopards that lions may serve as food after a fierce confrontation.

What eats a lion after it dies?

Dead lions become nothing but typical dead carcasses in the wild. Thus, if a lion dies, it usually becomes food to scavenger animals.

Among the scavenger animals that can eat a lion after it dies are the following:

  • Jackals
  • Vultures
  • Bald eagle
  • Crows
  • Hyenas

Besides these animals, even other lions that see this dead lion can also feast on its meat.

Which dog can kill a lion?

We see dogs as domesticated animals and even as family pets. However, some dogs can be aggressive and strong enough to face and kill a lion.

The dogs that can fight and kill lions are the following:

  • Rottweiler
  • Wolf dogs
  • Neapolitan mastiff
  • Tibetan mastiff
  • Boerboel dogs
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Bloodhounds
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Kangals

Such kinds of dogs have specific abilities such as hunting instincts. Moreover, they also have the aggressiveness and strength to withstand and even overpower lions.

For these reasons, these dogs often serve as protection of humans against other wild animals.


So, do lions have predators? Lions don’t have predators that will hunt them down as food to eat. Due to their fierceness and aggressiveness, no one dares to hunt them as food. Despite that fact, the wild is still full of many animals fighting them and even killing them.

Most animals that fight and kill lions are usually the ones that get challenged or hunted. Most animals fight lions to protect themselves or to steal prey. While lions have many enemies, only a few eat them, and some of these animals only eat a dead one. Some dogs can fight these mighty predators.


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