What Food Do Lions Eat?

Lions eat zebras, wildebeest, antelopes and other large grassland animals. Asiatic lions feed on small or large animals, including buffaloes, goats, nilgai, sambhar and chital. Lions prefer scavenging over hunting, and over half of a lion’s diet consists of scavenged foods.

The majority of a lion’s scavenged meals come from animals killed by hyenas. Lions also eat animals that died of natural causes. Because circling vultures are often a sign of a dead or injured animal, lions watch for vultures in the sky and follow them to the meat source. In some areas, lions have been known to attack livestock. For example, in India cattle are a staple in a lion’s diet.

The majority of the hunting is done by the lioness. While the female hunts, the male lion stays behind to protect the young. Female lions frequently hunt together, encircling a herd and then attacking the closest animal. Lions kill very swiftly, and strangulation is the most common method used. Lions need to be close to their prey when they attack, as their stamina is very limited. For this reason, it’s common for lions to stalk their prey and then use various means of hiding to sneak up on it. Lions often hide at night to avoid detection.