Lions are carnivorous animals, and they eat a combination of carrion scavenged from other predators and prey that they hunt themselves. Lions typically prey upon the large hoofed mammals of the African grasslands, such as zebras, gazelles or wildebeest.
Lions are social predators. They are capable of bringing down prey larger than themselves, such as giraffes, by hunting cooperatively and sharing the kill as a unit. Other prey include buffalo, warthogs, and hartebeest. Lions that are not part of a pack or that are too weak to chase down big prey eat rodents, reptiles, small birds, bird eggs and fish. Lions are obligate carnivores, meaning that they eat only meat; their digestive systems are not designed for processing vegetable matter.