Do Lions Eat Rhinos? Can A Lion Kill A Rhino?

Lions are known for incredible power but also have enormous patience skills that they hide camouflaged, waiting for the right time to take on their prey.

Many people may think there isn’t much a lion won’t eat, and they are right too, but can they hunt down other ferocious creatures like rhinos and eat them? Let us find out the answer in this article.

Do Lions Eat Rhinos?

Lions would happily eat a rhino’s meat if they had the opportunity. However, the question here is how these big cats hunt a rhino. But if a lion happened to see the carcass of a recently killed rhino, it is likely to chase off any other predators feeding on it and start tucking in.

Do Lions Hunt Rhinos?

Typically, lions will choose to hunt smaller prey that is easier to kill. Rhinos, with their leathery skin and tough horns, are rarely the prey of choice for big cats.

Lions are opportunistic scavengers and will eat almost any animal, but a fully-grown rhino is also a mighty beast on its own. It can give a very tough fight to a lion and even cause deathly injuries.

But lions can have an advantage when they are in a group, which is how they usually go hunting. A desperate pride would attempt to take on a larger animal together, even if it’s a rhino.

However, rhinos’ thicker skin and considerable size make it difficult for the big cats to get a grip on their prey and deliver the death blow. While its thick skin protects it from predators, shielding the killing blows, and in return, all it takes is one blow from its horns to negate those predators.

do lions live in the desert, lion group in desert
Photo by Jeff LeMond on Unsplash

Can A Lion Kill A Rhino?

Generally, a single lion may not dare to attack and kill a rhino, but a group of hungry lions might. One important strength of lions is that they live in a pack and hunt as a team, unlike other big cats.

So, lions (in plural) may kill a rhino but a single lion may not have many chances to attempt this feat as a rhino is a no smaller creature. Even so, lions mainly target rhino calves and would never bother to go after an adult unless it is old, sick, or injured.

Also Read: Can Hippos Jump?

Can A Rhino Kill A Lion?

A rhino may flee initially before attempting to fight a lion head-on, but its large horn will become a powerful weapon if forced to do so. (Actually, a rhino has two horns, with a large one at the front and a smaller one located just behind).

A fully grown white rhino can kill even a large lion on its day. A single blow from a rhinoceros horn is so powerful that it can kill a fully-grown lion or lioness. Therefore lions are wary of hunting such mighty prey. The chances of lions will get better when the rhino is old, young, or sick.

If a single hungry lion that is not eaten for a long time attempts to hunt a rhinoceros out of its desperation, then it may end up on the wrong side of its prey’s horn and are unlikely to survive.

can a rhino kill a lion
Photo by Red Charlie on Unsplash

Lions Vs Rhinos

Lions have an impressive power-to-weight ratio; however, some risk element is always involved. Even if lions hunt together as a pride, they won’t get succeed every time.

Though lions are known to eat all sorts of animals, they would rarely hunt an adult rhino, but they consider a rhino calf as it can be easier prey than an adult one.

An aggressive adult rhino can charge at the lion and send it flying into the air. In fact, the rhinos are so tough that they have very little to fear from the big cats.

Also Read: Do Lions Eat Foxes?

The African white rhino is the second-largest land mammal on the planet and never be underestimated. They can stand anywhere between 5-6 feet tall and often have a total body length of 11-13 feet, depending on their age and sex.

In terms of weight, the male rhinos can easily be around 5,070 lb (2,300 kg). In comparison, lions will only reach 3.5 to 4 ft tall with an average weight of 418 lb (190 kg). The strength of a rhino is at a par level compared to a lion, but the lion is more good with reflexes.

What Are The Predators Of Rhinos?

It is not surprising to say that the primary predators of rhinos are humans; they are pursued and killed for their horns. Rhino calves have more predators, like big cats, crocodiles, wild canines, and hyenas.


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