As we often hear that lions are obligate carnivores and have to eat meat to survive, it is impossible to imagine that they eat fruits or vegetables.
It will be interesting to know their food habits and behavior. It is known that they mostly hunt large mammals like zebras and antelopes for food but do lions eat fruit? Do they eat any vegetarian food?
There has been some speculation that these apex predators also eat other food sources, such as fruit. Let us find out the answers now, and they may surprise you.
Do Lions Eat Fruit?
Lions may eat fruits in rare cases, but their diets mainly consist of meat. As they are hypercarnivores, more than 70-75% of their food will be just meat. Lions may eat grass or fruits if they have an upset stomach or to extract the nutrients they need, but they’ll usually vomit shortly and won’t eat it.
Big cats like lions are exclusively predatory and remain primarily carnivorous; you can see this by their teeth. They don’t have molars or teeth with flat grinding surfaces to deal with fibrous material, and even their intestines are not well suited to that purpose either.
If you look at a lion’s stomach, you’ll see that it has no rumen, and it’s the rumen that secretes certain enzymes, like cellulase, which helps in breaking down the cellulose (a primary component of the fibrous cell walls of plants, fruits, and vegetables).
Lions eat foods like fruits, vegetables, or grass to make themselves regurgitate. Many carnivore animals may eat fruit occasionally; however, it doesn’t provide them with enough building blocks (amino acids) they need.
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Dead Animals?
The carnivore animals may not digest the fruit properly and vomit shortly after eating it. But eating fruit once in a while has some advantages. They are:
- Eating fruit can provide them with a source of water.
- It mainly helps to settle stomach aches and digestion problems as they usually regurgitate after eating fruit.
- It also helps in maintaining their body weight.
- Eating fruits may help keep them cool in hot weather.
But they do eat vegetation in another form, which is just inside their prey’s guts. Most predators favor eating the prey’s stomach and its contents right away as the semi-digested plant matter is easier for them to digest and get those nutrients.
Can Lions Eat A Banana?
They can eat bananas and would eat them if there is no food around and found some bananas. So, the question should be, “Should Lions Eat Bananas?” They ought not to eat bananas as their body is not designed for that.
Lions are obligate carnivores and warm-blooded animals. They must eat meat to survive, as their body cannot produce the required nutrients to sustain themselves.
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Birds? Can Lions Hunt Birds?
Do Lions Eat Fruit In Captivity?
Zookeepers generally provide similar food that a lion eats in the food. They may alter it in a minor way to provide the lion with every nutrient it needs to live healthily.
So they won’t provide anything against the lion’s nature and biology. So they won’t eat the fruit in captivity. They are carnivorous animals and eat other animals’ meat and flesh.
Can Lions Survive Without Meat?
As previously discussed, lions can’t thrive on fruits and vegetables. They have to eat to survive. If they quit eating meat and start eating vegetables, it gets sick or even die soon as their digestive system is not suitable for eating fiber-rich food.
They cannot digest them even if they eat them in rare cases. Every mammal needs amino acids for survival, and as humans, it’s easy for our bodies to produce those acids naturally, but lions can’t. So, they consume them for the flesh and meat of other mammals.
Until next time!!