The Fierce Rivalry: Lions vs Cheetahs

Lions and cheetahs are both majestic predators that roam the African savannahs. However, their relationship is not always harmonious, as lions have been known to prey on cheetahs, particularly their cubs.

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on the planet, capable of reaching speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. This incredible speed allows them to outrun almost any predator, except for the cheetah’s arch-nemesis, the lion.

Lions are apex predators and are known for their strength and hunting prowess. They are opportunistic hunters and will prey on any animal they can catch, including cheetahs. While adult cheetahs are usually too fast and agile for lions to catch, cheetah cubs are more vulnerable and easier targets.

In fact, a study conducted in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in 1994 found that lions were responsible for killing up to 57% of cheetah cubs in the area. This is a significant threat to the cheetah population, as cubs are critical to the survival of the species.

One reason why lions prey on cheetah cubs is competition for resources. Both lions and cheetahs feed on similar prey, such as gazelles and antelopes. As such, thee is often competition between the two species for food, and lions may see cheetah cubs as a way to eliminate competition and secure their own food supply.

However, it’s important to note that not all lions will prey on cheetahs. In some cases, lions and cheetahs have been known to coexist peacefully, with lions even tolerating cheetahs in their territories. This suggests that the relationship between the two species is complex and depends on a variety of factors, such as food availability and territorial boundaries.

While lions do eat cheetahs, particularly their cubs, this is not always the case. The relationship between lions and cheetahs is complex and depends on a variety of factors. As such, it’s important to continue to study these predators and their interactions to better understand and protect these magnificent animals.

Lion vs Cheetah: Will a Lion Kill a Cheetah?

Yes, lions have been known to kill cheetahs. In fact, a study conducted in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in 1994 found that lions were responsible for up to 57% of cheetah cub deaths. Lions are apex predators and are known to be territorial, often competing with other predators for resources. Cheetahs, on the other hand, are not as powerful as lions and are more vulnerable to attacks. However, it’s important to note that not all lions will kill cheetahs and there are cases where they have coexisted without conflict.

do lions eat cheetahs

Predators of the Cheetah

Lions, leopards, and hyenas are the main predators of cheetahs. These larger carnivores often prey upon cheetah cubs, which are vulnerable and easy targets. However, adult cheetahs are more difficult to catch due to their incredible speed, which allows them to outrun most predators. While cheetahs are not typically preyed upon by other animals, they may sometimes fall victim to other predators such as crocodiles or wild dogs. Additionally, cheetahs may occasionally scavenge on the kills of other predators, which can put them in competition with other carnivores for food.

Do Cheetahs and Lions Coexist?

Cheetahs and lions are two different species of big cats that inhabit the African savanna. While cheetahs and lions may share some similarities in appearance and habitat, they do not get along well with each other. This is because they are both apex predators and compete for the same resources, such as prey animals like antelopes and gazelles. As such, cheetahs and lions are natural rivals and will often fight each other for territory and resources. In fact, lions are known to kill cheetahs and their cubs if given the chance. Therefore, it is safe to say that cheetahs and lions do not get along and are not likely to form any kind of social bond or alliance.

Do Tigers Prey on Cheetahs?

Tigers and cheetahs are two different species of big cats, and they generally do not live in the same regions. Tigers are native to Asia, while cheetahs are found in Africa. Therefore, tigers do not typically have the opportunity to eat cheetahs. However, it is important to note that lions, another big cat species that shares the same African habitat as cheetahs, have been known to prey on cheetah cubs when they come across them.

What Animal Can Easily Kill a Lion?

While no animal can easily kill a lion, elephants and buffalo are known to be capable of killing a cornered lion due to their size and strength. Lions are apex predators and are skilled hunters, so it is rare for them to be killed by other animals. However, if a lion is in a vulnerable position, such as being cornered or injured, an elephant or buffalo may be able to overpower it. Additionally, a group of buffalo or elephants working toether can pose a serious threat to a lion. Despite this, it is important to note that lions are still highly respected and feared predators in their ecosystems.

do lions eat cheetahs

The Causes of Cheetah Mortality

Cheetahs are vulnerable to various predators in the wild, with lions and hyenas being their most significant threats. Adult cheetahs can fall prey to these larger predators, but it’s the cheetah cubs that are especially vulnerable as their small size and lack of experience make them easy targets. In fact, the survival rate of cheetah cubs in East Africa’s Serengeti plains is only arond 5%, largely due to lion predation. Other predators that can kill cheetahs include leopards, African wild dogs, and even humans who hunt them for their fur and other body parts. However, the biggest threat to cheetahs is habitat loss and fragmentation, which limits their space to roam, hunt, and breed. As a result, conservation efforts to protect cheetahs’ natural habitats and reduce human-wildlife conflict are crucial to ensuring their survival in the wild.

Causes of Lion Mortality

There are several predators and other animals that can kill lions. Hyenas are known to prey on lion cubs, and they may also attack adult lions in large packs. Crocodiles are another threat to lions, especially when lions venture too close to water sources. Leopards, which are one of the strongest wild cats in terms of climbing ability, may also kill lion cubs. Buffaloes, which are powerful herbivores, have been known to kill lions in rare cases. In addition, lions may also die from diseases, injuries sustained duing hunting or territorial fights, and human activities such as poaching and habitat destruction. Overall, while lions are apex predators, they are not invincible and face threats from a variety of sources in their natural habitats.

Predators of the Lion

Despite being one of the top predators in ther habitat, lions do have a few natural enemies. However, no animal actively hunts a lion to eat it. The main threat to lions comes from other predators such as hyenas and cheetahs, who often compete with lions for food and territory. Hyenas are known for stealing lion kills, and their ability to work together in groups can pose a significant threat to even a large pride of lions. Additionally, lions may occasionally fall prey to diseases, injuries, or old age, which can leave them vulnerable to attacks from other predators or scavengers. Overall, while lions are formidable predators, they still face risks and challenges in their natural environment.

Fear of Lions in Cheetahs

Yes, cheetahs are scared of lions. Lions are one of the natural predators of cheetahs in the wild, and cheetahs have evolved to avoid areas frequented by lions. When cheetahs sense the presence of lions, they will typically flee the area to avoid confrontation. In fact, even the sound of a lion’s roar can cause cheetahs to become nervous and on edge. Therefore, it is safe to say that cheetahs are intimidated by lions and will try to avoid them whenever possible.

do lions eat cheetahs

Comparing the Strength of a Cheetah and a Lion

In a fight between a cheetah and a lion, the lion wuld most likely emerge victorious. This is because lions are larger and stronger than cheetahs, with more powerful jaws and sharper claws. Additionally, lions are known for their impressive hunting tactics, which involve working together in groups to take down prey. However, it’s important to note that in the wild, these animals are unlikely to engage in fights with each other. Cheetahs are typically solitary hunters and will avoid confrontation whenever possible, while lions are social creatures that tend to stick to their own pride. Ultimately, while a lion may have the physical advantage in a one-on-one fight with a cheetah, it’s unlikely that such a confrontation would ever occur in the wild.

The Fear of Lions

The lion, being one of the top predators in its ecosystem, has few natural predators to fear. However, a young or sickly lion may fall prey to hyenas. Additionally, adult male lions may attack and eat cubs. Despite these threats, the biggest danger to lions is humans. Hunting and habitat encroachment by humans have severely impacted lion populations, leading to their classification as a vulnerable species. Therefore, while lions may not have many natural predators to fear, their survival is threatened by human activity.

Why Lions Do Not Consume Cheetahs

Lions don’t eat cheetahs because consuming the flesh of anther predator wouldn’t provide them with any significant nutritional value. Cheetahs, along with other predators like leopards, hyenas, and African wild dogs, aren’t considered desirable prey for lions. Their flesh is not nutritious and does not provide the necessary sustenance for the lion’s survival. Additionally, hunting and killing another predator can be risky for the lion, as it could result in injury or death. Therefore, lions typically focus on hunting and consuming herbivores, such as zebras, buffalo, and antelopes, as they provide a more significant source of nutrition for the lion.

Do Hyenas Prey on Cheetahs?

Yes, hyenas do eat cheetahs if they get the chance. Hyenas are known to be opportunistic predators, and they will not hesitate to attack and kill cheetahs if they come across them. In fact, hyenas are one of the major predators of cheetahs, especially when it comes to cubs. Hyenas have been observed to kill both cheetah cubs and adults, and this is a significant threat to the survival of cheetah populations in the wild. Therefore, it is inherently risky for a cheetah, especially one with cubs, to interact with larger predators such as spotted hyenas.

do lions eat cheetahs

The Cheetah’s Favorite Prey

As a carnivorous animal, cheetahs have a varied diet that usually includes smaller antelope species such as springbok, steenbok, Thomson’s gazelle, and duiker. These small mammals are the preferred prey of cheetahs due to their size, speed, and agility. Cheetahs usually hunt by chasing their prey down and delivering a swift bite to the throat, cutting off the animal’s air supply and causing suffocation. Therefore, it can be said that the cheetah’s favorite prey is the smaller antelope species mentioned above.


In conclusion, lions do not typically eat adult cheetahs, but they have been known to prey on cheetah cubs. Researchers have documented that lions, leopards, and hyenas are threatening predators to cheetahs, and they will oftn try to hunt and kill cheetah cubs when they have the opportunity. This competition for prey is an example of the complex relationships that exist in the animal kingdom. While lions and cheetahs may not be natural enemies, their different hunting strategies and overlapping territories can lead to conflict. Overall, it is clear that lions pose a significant threat to cheetah cubs, making it essential for conservation efforts to protect these vulnerable animals.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.