The lion is a wild animal, a strong and agile predator that lives in the savannahs of Africa.
A small group of these mammals also lives in Asia. Lions live in families, together with several lionesses and cubs. The females hunt in the pride, while the main male ensures the safety of his charges by guarding everyone from lone lions that come with them.
Lions are carnivores, so their diet is based on meat and it is not easy to feed a lion’s pride, as an animal needs to eat up to 8 kg of meat per day. The lionesses go hunting in the evenings or at night, acting in a group, which makes the task much easier.
In this article, we will consider what lions eat, which animals they dare to attack in the wild, and which animals they avoid to avoid injury or death. We will tell how a lion hunts, follow the ritual, and the sequence of prey eating.
How do lions hunt?
If the lion lives in pride, together with the lionesses, only the females come out to hunt, because the lion is too heavy and clumsy. However, if the male has not yet formed a family, or if he was kicked out of the pride by a stronger leader, he has to find his own food. What does the solitary lion eat? It is much harder for him to get food than the agile and swift lionesses, so he won’t bite fallen or small animals, as it’s hard to defeat a large antelope or a buffalo by himself.
Things are much easier for a lion with a family. Females hunt in groups of several, surrounding a herd of zebras or a straggler animal. They attack from several sides at once, grabbing the victim’s neck with their huge fangs. The prey cannot breathe and soon dies of suffocation.
However, in the wild, it’s much easier to catch prey than to keep it because the smell of fresh meat immediately attracts spongers who want to feast. It’s easier for pride to chase away intruding hyenas or leopards than for a lone lion. So they must eat their prey quickly, while there is an opportunity.
What do lions eat?
Large animals, such as wildebeest, zebra, or warthog, are considered the main food of lions. However, a hungry lion may eat an animal that is already dead and half-decomposed, take prey from hyenas or leopards, or attack livestock. If lionesses catch their prey, the male lion comes to the carcass first, then the females finish it, and finally, the cubs are fed with the leftovers.
What do lions eat in the wild?
If alone lion catches its prey on its own, it is unlikely to eat it all in peace until the end. Other savannah predators also like what lions eat, so a lion tries to get a lot at once, eating up to 30 kilos of meat. His rivals will not let him approach the carcass a second time. But in the pride, there are more opportunities to protect the prey, so you can stretch the “dinner” a couple of times.
Who won’t be attacked by lions?
There are animals in Africa that even big cats do not dare to attack. Not a single case of lions attacking a rhinoceros has been recorded, not often the hunt for giraffes or hippos ends successfully because these are large and strong animals.
A lion can only try its hand at the cubs of these animals. Another difficult prey for the lion’s pride is the buffalo, whose horns can cause fatal wounds to large cats, so they try to avoid them and attack only a wounded or sick animal.
Now you know what lions eat in the wild. This is a dangerous and strong animal, which is feared by absolutely all inhabitants of savannahs. After all, it is not for nothing that it is called the king of beasts.
What do lions eat in the zoo?
In a zoo, a lion is given fresh meat, most often lean beef, and twice a week – “live food” (dead chickens or rabbits). For good digestion of captive raptors in captivity once a week add raw eggs, vegetable oil, and grain sprouts or simple bran to the meat. Several times a month do a discharge day. As a rule, animals raised in captivity weigh considerably more than wild lions.