The only predator lions face is humans who kill lions for sustenance, medicinal uses or other reasons. Lion hunting is an important Maasai tradition for demonstrating bravery. However, lions sometimes prey on animals that can fight back and kill them, such as crocodiles and sable antelopes.
To protect the lion population, the Maasai tribes have switched to group hunting that allows young men to continue a long cultural tradition while preserving the ecology of the savannah.
Although lions are apex predators, they avoid confrontations with animals such as hippos, honey badgers and crocodiles, and they only prey on creatures such as sable antelopes out of desperation. Hippos are regarded as the most dangerous animal in Africa, while honey badgers have been witnessed driving lions away from kills. Although sable antelopes prefer to run from predators, when wounded they drop to their knees and can gore lions to death.
Lions generally hunt in groups with a success rate of anywhere between 10 to 50 percent. Lions also often scavenge kills from other predators, taking food from hyenas, cheetahs and leopards.
Lions are protected by law, but some areas that suffer from severe livestock predation consider them pests. There have been reports of herdsmen occasionally banding together to kill lions out of revenge for lost cattle.