if you are wondering whether lions kill and eat other predators like cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas. The answer is simple, No, they don’t.
This raises the question of why, after killing hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, or African wild dogs (adults or pups), lions never consume them. The truth is that they just will not eat them.
A lion won’t gain much by consuming the flesh of another predator, considering that cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, and African wild dogs aren’t exactly a well-deserved meal or a wanted snack – and their flesh isn’t nutritious or provide the promise of sustenance, no matter how hungry the golden cat becomes. So it contented itself with viciously murdering that carnivore and letting its uneaten carcass rot, comfortable in the knowledge that it had just eliminated another rival for food and territory, as well as another possible threat to its young.
Also, lions (like most carnivores) don’t eat other carnivores because of a rule known as “The 10% Energy Rule in the Food Chain,” which states that the higher the trophic level, the lower the energy – thus, predators like lions derive more energy from eating herbivores rather than other carnivores; and in some extreme cases, breaking the skin, removing the flesh, and digesting it are all energy-
Other carnivores, on the other hand, have a larger parasite and disease load than herbivores.
Any animal at the top of the food chain picks up illnesses from the other animals it eats. On the evolutionary scale, eating another predator has a far larger survival cost than eating herbivores, which are likely to have less sickness in general.
Top predators with a proclivity to consume other top predators are at a higher risk of both physical injury and illness accumulation. Those who do not consume them survive longer and so have the opportunity to reproduce, passing on their genetics and overall disposition to their children.
That’s why, after killing them, lions never eat leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, or hyenas.
Edit: Other huge predators, such as hyenas, have been consumed by lions on a few instances, as demonstrated in this video (also shared by Rebecca):
Though I still think it’s a rare instance because lions aren’t known to eat hyenas after they’ve been killed (the males here must have been desperate).
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