Lions are well known throughout the world as one of the most famous and deadly animals to exist. They are designed to be perfect hunters, designed to kill and there aren’t many animals that can match their power.
But have you ever wondered if Lions eat other big cats? What about the fastest of the big cats, Cheetahs?
In this article, we will be getting to the bottom of this question, talking about if they do and why… and the answers may surprise you!
What Is A Lion’s Normal Diet?
Before we even answer the question of “do lions eat cheetahs?” we need to talk about what lions eat in general.
Lions are apex predators and they are carnivores, so they eat meat. Specifically raw meat. They will eat any animal they consider prey, but they most commonly eat buffalo, zebra, giraffe, warthog, and antelope.
In some cases, especially when they are working together, they can hunt and take down much larger animals such as giraffes. They will also hunt and kill smaller variations of elephants, usually the young elephants.
Male lions generally need about 7kg of meat every day, with the needing about 4.5kg.
Most of the prey they kill and take back to the pride weigh between 50kg and a staggering 400kg. Both male and female lions can eat up to 15% of their body weight in one day.
Are Lions Cannibals?
So if lions eat next to anything as long as it’s got meat, will they eat each other?
In general, lions don’t really eat their own kind, but under certain circumstances, they will.
When times are tough and they are struggling to find food, lions will on occasion hunt and eat other lions.
They only do this if they are really, really desperate though, so if you ever came across a lion eating another lion, you would know that there was a massive food shortage in its territory.
Male lions do on occasion eat lion cubs that were sired by other male lions, but this only really happens when they have taken a pride from a weaker male.
Usually, they just kill the weaker male’s cubs in an attempt to wipe out their bloodline. Once the cubs are killed, they tend to just leave the body alone. But there are occasions when they will eat the corpse too.
Overall, lions would rather not eat each other. They only do it if their lives are threatened by their hunger and there are no other options available, so it’s quite a rare occurrence.
Lion VS Cheetah: Who Would Win In A Fight?
It is important to take some things into account as we try to work this question out. Though Cheetahs aren’t as strong as lions, there are much faster.
Cheetahs are the fastest big cats in the whole world and are widely known as the fast animal on land across all species.
They can run from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds, but lions can only run up to 50 miles per hour in comparison.
So lions are pretty fast, but more often than not, cheetahs will outrun them if they get too close.
Both cheetahs and Lions have quite low stamina, so in a fight, they would tire out at roughly the same time.
The strength lions have in comparison to the cheetahs though gives them the upper hand overall.
For the sake of this debate, let’s say a lion and a cheetah were fighting. Let’s say the option for the cheetah to run away isn’t available, so the only choice the cheetah has is to fight.
Lions are much bigger than cheetahs both in size and muscle. Cheetahs also don’t have the same numbers as lions, they generally travel alone or in pairs, whereas lions have a whole pride at their disposal.
These prides can reach numbers of up to 40 at a time as well, with over a dozen lionesses in their ranks. If a pair of cheetahs tried to take on a pride, it would not end well for the cheetahs.
Though cheetahs have a lot of similar characteristics to lions, both being big cats with sharp teeth and deadly claws, their biggest advantage is their speed and ability to escape danger quickly.
Their chances of surviving a full-on fight with a lion are slim to none. But even then, lions usually have the upper hand.
In the battle of Lion Vs. Cheetah, the lion would almost always win.
So Do Lions Eat Cheetahs?
Although lions could easily dominate and kill a cheetah in a fight, they don’t tend to eat them.
It’s not unheard of for them to eat them, but just like other eating lions, it wouldn’t be their first choice.
Both lions and cheetahs share the same geographical location, but they do tend to avoid each other as much as they can.
If they were to face each other, it would be because one or the other felt threatened or felt that their territory was being disrespected.
Lions and Cheetahs are both fiercely protective of their cubs, and this is the main reason they get into fights.
In the case of Lions killing cheetahs, usually, they’ll just leave the corpse to rot. They will only eat a cheetah if they are extremely hungry, similar to why they would ever eat another lion.
So yes, lions will eat cheetahs, but they’d rather not. In fact, they’d rather not interact with cheetahs at all.
Overall, lions are just not interested in cheetahs and don’t find them to be very appetizing, just like how they feel about eating other lions.
They will get into fights with cheetahs if they have to, but once they have killed them, they more often than not just leave them.
Hopefully, you’ve learned a little more about the behaviors of lions in this article and now you have some interesting facts you can tell your friends about this powerful and fearless big cat!