Do Lions Eat Monkeys? (The Answer May Shock You)

Regardless of where they are in the world, lions are always at the top of their food chain. They’re apex predators and that’s for a good reason.

Do Lions Eat Monkeys? (The Answer May Shock You)

They use teamwork, are extremely strong, have razor sharp teeth and have the speed to back it all up, and so in this article we’ll be talking about if Lions eat monkeys, and if so how do they attack them.

Read on to find out more.

Do Lions Attack Monkeys?

Lions are the dominant predator wherever they are, because of this they’ll attack anything (or anyone) that’ll feed them, or that just annoys them.

There are exceptions to this though, and there’s even a few animals that the king of the jungle won’t bother provoking either from the effort expended trying to catch them, or the risk simply not being worth it.

As well as this, Lions generally prey upon larger, 4 legged creatures which cannot climb, such as antelope, wildebeest, zebras and giraffes.

There’s little risk of them getting hurt (except for giraffes) and the meat from a single kill of one of these animals can feed the entire pride for a day.

Monkeys on the other hand are small, nimble, and in most cases are just going to get away.

Also, they’re not solitary animals, and so sneaking up on a troop of monkeys isn’t going to be easy.

Lions would just prefer the meat of the more standard, antelope type creatures instead.

Most Monkeys generally would fall under the first category, of them not being worth it for the lion.

With them spending most of their lives high up in the trees of tropical forests, lions simply cannot get to them, or at least not without risking their lives falling or using lots of energy that’ll go wasted from chasing a more nimble, and better at climbing monkey.

But this isn’t the case for all monkeys, baboons in particular spend most of their time on the ground, and only really climb trees to eat, sleep, or keep watch.

As well as this, baboons can weigh up to 45kg, which can be a filling meal for a lion, and have a top speed of 48kph compared to the lion’s 80kph allowing for a relatively easy catch, especially if one is caught with their guard down.

In the wild, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures, and if a pride of lions hasn’t eaten in a while, or is plain annoyed by the monkey’s presence, rest assured they’ll try their best to attack and eat monkeys.To do this though, Lions have to get creative.


Baboons are some of the world’s largest monkeys, with there being 5 separate species of the baboon there’s a lot of different types too.

The ones most commonly associated with the savanna are chacma, olive, yellow and guinea, and are regularly referred to as the savanna baboons.

Contrary to popular belief baboons are actually quite dangerous too.

They’re extremely aggressive and have really sharp fangs that they use to kill their prey once they get a hold of it.

They’re usually seen attacking antelope or smaller prey such as flamingos, and aren’t to be underestimated even by the lions.

They’re crafty too. When they know that there’s a lion cub that’s unguarded, they’ll sneak into the lion’s den and kill it.

This might seem like senseless violence from the Baboon but it’s for good reason, they know that 2 years down the line, that’s another lion that won’t be a threat to them.

Lions are the biggest predator of the baboon on the savanna, and the baboon does everything in it’s power to mitigate the chances of a lion killing them.

But sometimes the lion’s are just too powerful.

How Do Lions Attack Monkeys?

How Do Lions Attack Monkeys?

If a lion wants to attack a monkey, it’s important that they use the element of surprise to their advantage.

Luckily the lion will rarely be working alone, and can use teamwork to their advantage.

Baboons in particular are typically found wandering on the ground, and if they’re preoccupied with attacking another animal, it’s as easy as the lion simply running the baboon down.

On the ground, with nothing in the way, there’s no escape for a baboon.

Even if they’re in a tree, sometimes if lions are particularly hungry or desperate for a kill, they’ll climb up whilst other lions wait for the baboon to drop.

This is why baboons are constantly on the lookout for lions, as really when they’re close enough to the baboon that a chase can begin, the baboon doesn’t stand a chance.

One on one though, the baboon can fight back.

Its razor sharp teeth are not to be underestimated by the lion, and whilst the lion could easily overpower the baboon, the damage that they’d suffer could potentially be life threatening, but at the very least would certainly be scarring.

Because of this, lions need to rely on teamwork to ensure that the baboon isn’t a threat.

How Often Do Lions Attack Monkeys

For lions, they’re usually going to prefer the defenseless antelope type creatures over a monkey simply because of the threat that baboons show, and other monkeys are just too hard to catch.

Sure there’ll be moments when monkeys are easily killed and eaten by the lions, but a lion would always prefer the meat of an antelope over a monkey, and this shows.

Both animals live in the same habitat and whilst they do fight, and the lions win. They’d both rather leave each other alone.

Final thoughts

So there we have it, lions continue to show why they’re at the top of the food chain by dominating the landscape that they live in.

Lions are natural predators of monkeys and so they’ll take them for a tasty snack, but would much rather a full meal instead.

Joe Edwards