What Animals Eat Lions?

Lions occupy a penthouse suite atop the food chain, overlooking the animal kingdom like a regal beacon of doom. They are incredible hunters, able to pull off feats like downing 1,000 pound Cape Town buffalo, according to The Smithsonian, then gorging on up to 70 pounds of flesh in one sitting. But do any animals commit regular regicide against the king of the jungle?

Well, they aren't totally invincible, and there are multiple species with the potential of switching off a lion's "mane" life force. This will usually occur if a lion bites off more than it can chew — but not because there are any rougher, tougher predators looking to snack on lions. Reference.com says lions can die attacking animals like crocodiles, sable antelopes, or — heaven forbid –- a hippo. Now, crocodiles are obviously dangerous, and hippos have a reputation for being more dangerous than anything else, but antelopes? According to the article, when wounded, a sable antelope will drop to its knees and gore its would-be attacker, its horns revealing an inconvenient truth straight to the heart of an unlucky lion. However, those odds aren't too high, and that's about all of the wildlife that poses a real threat to a lion.

In theory, any scavenger might feed upon a lion after it's dead, but the only true remaining lion killer is us humans. Specifically, the Maasai tribe has long been known for its rite of passage lion hunting, according to the Washington Post, which required a young man to kill a lion to become a warrior.

However, due to low remaining lion numbers, the Post article proclaims that even the Maasai have chosen conservation over tradition, choosing to prove manhood through Olympics-style competition instead. Besides, the Maasai tribe doesn't eat game meat, meaning there simply aren't any animals alive today that naturally consume lions. That's good, because — as we've mentioned — there aren't many lions left.

Just over a century ago, there were as many as 200,000 lions in the wild. Now, there are only about 20,000 wild lions according to Mother Nature Network, but thanks to the forward-thinking nature of the Maasai, they stand a better chance. So long as gun-toting dinguses don't go slaying for the 'gram and we preserve their fast-shrinking habitat, lions will be around for a while yet.