Do Lions Eat Snakes? Snakes Vs Lions

According to many researchers, including National Geography, the primary prey for lions is large mammals such as zebras and antelopes that live in open grasslands. So mostly, snakes are not part of their diet. Though lions typically avoid snakes if they can, they will not hesitate to attack if they even slightly feel threatened or intimidated.

Do Lions Eat Snakes?

As lions are apex predators, they can easily kill most animals as they are at the top of the food chain and have no natural predators. But Just because they are at the top of the food chain does not mean they eat everything that is below.

There are more than 3000 species of snakes around the world that we know of, and some of these snakes share the same environment as lions. So, many often wonder that “Do lions eat snakes?”

If you have a keen interest in animals, you would have already known that lions are the only cats to live in groups called “Prides.” Each pride is led by a male lion (sometimes prides contain more than one male lion) whose territory may spread across many square miles.

So in most cases, Lions need not hunt snakes as they are small creatures, and there is not enough meat on them which means hunting them would be a waste of time. They are also quite challenging to catch too. 

Interesting Facts:

  • Female lions are the hunters of the pride, and they use ambush tactics and teamwork if the prey is larger than themselves. Sometimes they also steal kills from the other predators by intimidating them.
  • Despite their organized hunt, lions only succeed 25% of the time. Their hunting success ratio depends on the number of lions in the pride. Obviously, a bigger pride has a better chance of survival than a small one.

Do Lions Eat Python?

Lions rarely eat a python when they don’t find anything to eat. But many of us must have heard that pythons are getting eaten by large cats like lions, tigers, and pumas.

Do Lions Get Bitten By A Snake?

Though a lion can hunt and kill snakes most of the time, few snakes are more powerful than a lion. As far as the knowledge of forest officers, the snakes from the viper family and other dangerous snakes like the king cobra (Indian cobra) are known to have inflicted harm on the lion.

Interesting Fact: An adult cobra can lift its body capable enough to bite a man of average height on the chest. It can lift more than 2/3rd of its body and can easily bite a lion and poison it with its sharp fangs.

Are Lions Afraid Of Snakes?

The answer is no. Though lions don’t prefer to eat snakes, they still see them as a threat and may attack any that come near their territory.

Also Read: Can Lions Swim? Are Lions Scared of Water?

Can A Snake Eat A Lion?

Generally, most snakes are not big enough to take down an animal as large as a lion. And even if they were, they wouldn’t be able to digest such a big meal. Most part of a snake’s diet consists of smaller prey, such as rodents or birds. Only occasionally, they may eat larger prey, such as deer or pigs.

What Animals Eat Snakes?

Many predators like owls, eagles, mongooses, honey badgers, bobcats, foxes, and animals of the feline family eat snakes. Even there are some serpents who kill other snakes to eat.

Interesting Fact: If foxes are indigenous to your area, fox urine is a very good natural repellent for snakes when spread around your property.

Snakes Vs Lions

Lions are powered with quick reflexes, and sharp claws, and are incredibly strong. They are one of the most feared predators in the animal kingdom as they are more than capable of taking down almost any prey.

So, who would be the probable winner if there is any encounter between a lion and a snake? Well, that is very much dependent on a number of factors.

As most lions live in prides, the first thing to consider is whether it would be one lion against a snake or would it be a pride of lions. If it is one lion against a snake, then there is some possibility that the snake could win, depending on its species.

Cobras, vipers, and black mambas have been known to have killed lions before. In fact, the king cobra’s venom can take down an elephant. It also depends on the lion’s ability to react to the strike of the snake and the size of the lion. If it’s a cub, the snake can give a fight, but if it’s an adult, then it will be the lion in the majority of cases.

But remember that lions are not invincible, and in the animal kingdom, surprises happen all the time. Animals that you thought were undefeatable are killed in the strangest of ways.


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