10 Animals That Hunt Lions

Lions are often considered the kings of the animal kingdom due to their status as apex predators. However, despite their powerful stature and reputation, there are several animals in the wild that are capable of hunting and sometimes preying on lions.

These creatures have developed unique strategies, skills, and adaptations that allow them to challenge the might of the lion. In this article, we will explore 10 animals that are known to hunt lions.

Spotted Hyenas

Spotted hyenas are well-known for their ability to scavenge, but they are also formidable hunters. They often hunt in packs and possess powerful jaws, allowing them to take down lions, especially young or sick individuals.

African Crocodile

African crocodiles, with their immense strength and powerful jaws, can ambush lions when they come to drink water at rivers or watering holes. Crocodiles are known to grab unsuspecting lions and drag them into the water, where they overpower them.

African Cape Buffalo

Buffaloes are known to be extremely protective of their young and will fiercely defend them against predators. In some instances, a herd of buffalo can work together to fend off a lion or even attack and injure them.


While lions generally avoid fully grown elephants, they may target elephant calves if the opportunity arises. However, elephant herds are highly protective, and the adults will fiercely defend their young, making it challenging for lions to succeed.

Nile Crocodile

Similar to African crocodiles, Nile crocodiles are known to ambush lions as they come to drink. The element of surprise and their formidable strength make them a threat to lions, especially if they are not vigilant.

Cape Hunting Dogs

Cape hunting dogs, also known as African wild dogs, are skilled and highly coordinated pack hunters. They use their superior endurance and teamwork to exhaust and overwhelm lions during a hunt, especially if the lions are alone or outnumbered.


Leopards are solitary and elusive predators known for their strength and agility. They can ambush and attack young or injured lions, making them a potential threat to lion cubs or weakened adults.

Spotted Eagle Owls

While not a direct predator of lions, the spotted eagle owl is known to prey on lion cubs. These large owls are opportunistic hunters and can pose a threat to lion offspring, especially during the night when the cubs are more vulnerable.


Large pythons have been observed attacking and attempting to suffocate young lions. They rely on their immense strength and constricting abilities to overpower and potentially kill young lions before consuming them.


Though hippos are herbivores, they can be extremely territorial and aggressive. In confrontations near water sources, hippos have been known to charge and attack lions, especially if they perceive them as a threat to their territory or young.

It’s important to note that while these animals are capable of hunting lions under certain circumstances, lion populations have evolved to adapt and defend themselves against such threats. The natural balance and coexistence of these species are crucial for maintaining a healthy and stable ecosystem.

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