Although being the kings of beasts, lions are not picky eaters, but rather they are very opportunistic creatures and will hunt and eat anything unfortunate enough to come across them. When they are hungry and desperate, they will hunt anything no matter how large, dangerous, small, or insignificant the target is. But do lions eat ostriches? Let’s find out the answer in this article.
Do Lions Eat Ostriches?
Lions are majestic creatures and they have always been admired for their characteristics. The kings of the jungle are revered as their battle deities by ancient Egyptians. Such is their power and caliber. Being an apex predator, a lion can be the gateway to death for every animal below it in the food chain. It would eat any animal when it’s hungry and ostriches would be a snack craved for.
A lion would eat an ostrich but only when it can manage to catch one. Let’s not forget the fact that ostriches are not only the world’s largest birds, but they are also among the fastest on earth. They can reach a whopping speed of 43 mph (70 km/h), thanks to their tendon that lets them maintain high speeds for longer periods. Whereas a lion, even though it can reach a speed of 50 mph (81 km/h), would lack endurance (like all big cats), and will quickly stop running to prevent death from overheating.
Another critical point thing to consider is ostriches are also unexpectedly dangerous, for they will readily defend to protect themselves or their young ones against predatory threats, including lions. They can get aggressive when they feel threatened and they would kick with their long, dagger-like claws at the end of their long feet. The kicks from their claws have so much power that they can inflict a whole amount of damage, or in the worst case, even kill a lion!
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Eagles?
Do Lions Hunt Ostriches?
More often than not, a lion would burn out in chase when the hunting is unplanned. But lions are also very intelligent creatures and they can manage to overpower an ostrich and eventually kill it to death. They are experts in stalking their prey cautiously through the long grass in savannahs, without uttering a single sound renders the ostrich completely oblivious to the approaching menace. Lions have many added advantages like superior size, power, strength, stealth, and as well as teamwork to take down the bulkiest of prey, such as ostriches.
It is needless to say that ostrich eggs are a much easier target than fully-grown adults. When they are left unsupervised, a lion steps in and feasts itself on yummy, delicious ostrich eggs. But it should eat quickly and make sure that the ostrich guarding the nest doesn’t return while the lion still devouring the eggs. If not, the lion will have to face a giant, bad-tempered bird that will not hesitate to attack mercilessly.
Also Read: Do Lions Eat Vultures?
Ostrich Vs Lion
Ostriches are swift and strong and ferocious, but still, they are no match for a hungry predator like a lion. It’s not likely that a lion will go for an ostrich as an easy meal. Definitely, ostriches are not their preferred prey as the success ratio here will be lesser and a single well-placed kick by the ostrich could disembowel a mighty lion. So, lions will only go after ostriches when there is nothing else to eat. Lions are not dumb and they know that ostrich has got very long dangerous toenails. If it has to catch an ostrich it should ambush the attack, if not the ostrich will outpace the lion and get away.
Most ostriches can weigh up to 320 lbs (145 kg) where the average weight of a male lion is around 420 lbs (190 kg), and a lioness will weigh around 280 lbs (127 kg). So, considering the weight, it can be difficult for an ostrich to kill a male lion but it can give some fight to a lioness. Also, mostly it will be a lioness going out to hunt for their pack when male lions get to watch their territory. When they are in pride, male lions don’t usually go out killing and hunting. That can be an advantage for the ostrich because lionesses are smaller than lions (a 300 lb ostrich against a 280 lb lioness).
What Other Animals Eat Ostriches?
Apart from lions, there are other predators for these tall birds and some of them include Cheetahs, Crocodiles, Hyenas, and Wild dogs. And baby ostriches and ostrich eggs have more predators than adult ostrich comparatively.