Do Lions Eat Rabbits? Do Mountain Lions Eat Rabbits?

Lions are known for their reputation as hunters and are famed for their ability to work together (in prides) and kill animals when they are much larger than themselves.

But life in the wild is not easy; it’s tough, and lion needs to eat meat to survive. So in such a situation, do they hunt smaller prey like rabbits and eat them? Let’s dive deep into this subject and try to find the answers.

Do Lions Eat Rabbits?

Although lions may prefer to hunt gazelles and zebras, they will happily catch and eat a rabbit if they fancy it. Particularly when the lion is hungry, and there is little else available, these tiny little snacks would become the primary target of a hungry lion.

Practically, lions would eat any meat that they can get their paws on. But when they have a choice, they prefer going after bigger mammals because lions hunt in groups, and a rabbit will not have enough meat for them.

Considering the energy requirement of a lion, the size of a rabbit is not considerable, but to a wild animal, every opportunity needs to be taken, even though a rabbit can be barely more than a snack for a mighty lion.

One rabbit is barely a mouthful for one lion, and they may not be interested in wasting so much energy and time over tiny creatures. But sometimes, food can be extremely scarce in the wild, and lions may have to hunt these tiny furry mammals to survive.

Rabbits Vs Lions

Rabbits are some of the most widely spread animals on the planet. They are tiny animals, and an adult weighs around 2 kg. Though rabbits are commonly known as pets by humans, they are also ubiquitous in the wild.

Rabbits can be found on almost every continent on the earth except Antarctica. And in Australia, it’s another story; they are considered a pest and invasive species there as their numbers grew up rapidly at an incredible level. Now, they aren’t even allowed as pets in Queensland, Australia anymore.

Moutain lion waiting for a hunt
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Also Read: Can A Lion Kill A Panda? Panda Vs lion

The cause for rabbits’ enormous population is that they don’t have any particular mating period, which means a female rabbit can get pregnant at any time of the year, and they become sexually mature only at around 3-8 months of their birth.

Interesting Facts:

  • A female rabbit can give birth to around 60 rabbits in a single year and can get pregnant the very next day of giving birth.
  • Rabbits have learned to sleep with their eyes open as part of the defense mechanism. So they are extremely alert to any potential threats.

Lions, the kings of the jungle, have lost more than 90% of the land they once claimed as their own. The real threat to lions is humans.

They are often killed, sometimes by the farmer to protect their farms and livelihood, but most often by idiots who just hunt them for recreation (they do it secretly, even though it is banned in many countries) wishing to score a lion’s head on their wall.

Now, lions mostly live in savannahs in Africa (native to sub-Saharan Africa). They have a great reputation among animals that even their roar is legendary. Even though they are skilled hunters, the real beauty of their hunting mastery is seen when they hunt in pride (as a group).

Lions coordinate their attacks and take down prey that would normally be unthinkable for a solo lion to take on. Lions have been known even to hunt elephants when in groups.

Also Read: Do Lions Eat Goats? Lion Vs Goats

Do Mountain Lions Eat Rabbits?

A rabbit is more likely to be eaten by a mountain lion than by a normal lion. This is because rabbits are very rare in savannahs. And as lions prefer to hunt in prides, they may not show interest in going after a tiny creature like a rabbit.

But mountain lions certainly eat a rabbit if it’s on offer. They were even reported to come to domesticated lands and farms, so they will happily nibble a rabbit as a tidbit between suppers.

 

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