Do Lions Eat Sheep? Lion Vs Lamb

Lions are obligatory carnivores and must eat other animals’ flesh to survive. We have seen many videos of lions eating all kinds of animals, but do they eat animals that are not common in the wild, for instance, animals like sheep? Let’s see.

Do Lions Eat Sheep?

Lions eat many animals under them in the food chain and choose large herbivore animals as they can’t fight back but just run. They are always safer than getting injured in the fight while catching the prey.

Sheep are powerless against hunters since they don’t have any method or protection for ensuring themselves. They just run when something alarms them.

Lions would kill a sheep and eat it, but it rarely happens in the wild as the lions have better alternatives and regular food like deer and gazelles. So, a lion would eat a sheep without any complaints, but it happens rarely.

Do Lions And Sheep Share The Same Habitat?

Lions mostly roam in the areas of grasslands and Savannahs. On the other hand, sheep are known to live in hilly areas; and most of them are grown on farms. So they are farm animals.

Lions and sheep don’t share the same habitat, and it’s safe to say that their habitats don’t collide with each other. Sheep share their habitat more with mountain lions than with lions.

do lions eat goats, lion eating goat
Photo by Frans van Heerden by Pexels

What Animals Eat Sheep?

Sheep are essentially raised as livestock throughout the world as they are a good source of wool and meat.

Sheep are gentle creatures and are generally defenseless. Due to this nature, they have a keen flocking instinct. They feel safer in a flock because the more sheep they surround themselves with, the less likely they will be eaten.

Their first instinct would be to huddle together for protection whenever they sense danger from predators. The most common predators of sheep are coyotes, wolves, bobcats, foxes, bears, canines, birds, wildcats, and mountain lions.

Also Read: Do Lions Eat Vultures?

Because of their natural vulnerability, sheep easily fall victim to larger animals.

Animals like grizzly and black bears are known to devour almost an entire sheep in a go. Some predators prefer to eat certain portions of sheep; for instance, bobcats favor sheep’s hindquarters, while dogs go for the head, flanks, and hindquarters of sheep when attacking.

Wild boars generally go after lambs as they are easier to catch, and their meat will be tender comparatively. Also, birds like vultures and ravens prey on lambs when they are too young and slow.

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

Do Mountain Lions Eat Sheep?

Yes, in fact, mountain lions are one of the biggest predators of sheep, right after coyotes and canines. They are known to prey on an average of 5-10 sheep in a single hunting spree. Mountain lions attack sheep by assaulting the head or neck locales.

As there has been a lot of deforestation recently and humans are increasing their territories by cutting down the forests, the encounters of mountain lions have increased in many areas as they started to see these farm animals as easier prey as they are almost defenseless.

Also Read: Do Lions Eat Goats?

How To Protect Your Sheep?

If you have sheep in your livestock and your farm is near the wild or mountain lions prone regions, then you should take some precautions to ensure no danger comes to them.

You can keep the sheep in an enclosed area, preferably surrounded by walls. You can also have sheep guardians like llamas, great Pyrenees, and donkeys. Fencing around the perimeter of your farm area is also a great option.

Note: Llamas and donkeys are known to have a strong hatred toward any canine, so shepherds should be aware that they don’t hesitate to attack even your dog just as enthusiastically as they would a coyote.


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