Do Lions Eat Hyenas? – Answered
Hyenas are extreme scavengers in their scavenging habit, i.e they scavenge a carcass down to the last bone which has got the slightest of the meat stuck to it. Even the stinkiest meat is consumed by hyenas and vultures. Hyenas have been documented to store some of the meat in water graves as a future store for consumption.
This extreme level of scavenging results in the hyena’s meat not being good in taste, which becomes the primary reason why lions don’t consume hyenas in maximum cases.
Now, lions primarily see hyenas as pests and treat them like one, the reasons being:
Hyenas actively lookout for lion cubs to kill them and eliminate competition. They bully lionesses when lionesses are in small numbers and steal their kills or a significant part of it many times. So killing hyenas is like a welfare act for the whole pride, it eliminates some competition and increases the chances of survival of cubs. Any other victim of this welfare scheme like leopard, Cheetah or Wild dogs isn’t consumed either.
The extreme scavenging habit is seen more in male hyenas who are the lowest in the hierarchy of a hyena society. Even the highest-ranked male is below the lowest-ranked females. So they don’t get many opportunities to eat in a kill when the whole clan is feeding and hence have to resort to these types of habits. So, if the male lions haven’t had anything in days and they are able to take down a healthy female hyena, they will reluctantly but out of necessity eat the soft underbelly region of the hyena to replenish its energy levels.
Lions are often referred to as the “King of the Jungle” not just because of their fearless nature, but their braveness. However, the hyenas don’t see the Lions as their king and they always tend to challenge the Lions.
The competition between these two predators is very normal and natural. The hyenas always find an opportunity to prey on the lion and attack its cub.
From what I have just explained above, it seems to be the main reason why the Lions hate seeing the hyenas around. Whenever it does, what comes to the mind of the lion is to kill the hyena.
I have watched and read about cases where lions don’t eat hyenas after killing them. They just leave the carcasses for vultures to feed on them. I decided to go into more research and I found out some reasons.
Ever wondered why lions don’t eat hyenas, even after killing them? Here are the reasons
Why Lions Don’t Eat Hyenas –Do Lions Eat Hyenas
1. Lions actually kill hyenas just to reduce their population, and not for food
Hyenas pose a serious threat to Lions that’s why they kill them in order to reduce their population. They are known to actively hunt female lions and Cubs.
2. Hyenas are professionals when it comes to hunting smaller animals
The male lions are able to scare hyenas away while the female lions cannot. That is the more reason why the male lions kill the hyenas. It is just to protect their territory order than see them as a source of food.
3. Hyenas don’t taste good
They go about hunting in order to fend for themselves, that is why they kill any animal they see in order to satisfy their hunger.
From my research, the hyenas don’t even kill themselves because they cannot eat their own flesh due to its bad taste. That is also the same reason why Lions don’t eat them even after killing them.
Hyenas smell and taste bad, that’s also why their predators don’t eat them.