Why do lions hate hyenas? Do hyenas attack lions?

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Why do lions hate hyenas?

Lions and hyenas both hate each other, and the lions being more muscular, bigger, and aggressive attacks the hyenas and make them flee away.

An alone hyena is just nothing in front of a lion, but a group of hyenas are enough to make the lion flee away.

Hyenas have been always known for their notorious feeding habits. Although, they do hunt their prey but are also seen stealing the kill from the lions

Hyenas when in groups try to harass and distract feeding lions to make them abandon their kill. They are also known to distract them by taking scraps of meat and bones that the lion has killed.

So, stealing food is one of the biggest reasons why lions hate hyenas the most.

It has been also seen that groups of hyenas try to capture the territory of the lions by marking it as their own territory. So, it becomes the utmost responsibility of the alpha lion to save their territory.

So, that’s also why lions hate hyenas and the male lions can get so aggressive that they can even attack one and kill it.


Also, hyenas in search of food and for marking their dominance, are often seen to kill the lion cubs entering their territory when there’s no adult lion guarding them. So, lions are often seen to rush after a hyena as soon as they see one.

Hyenas are famed scavengers and are often seen feeding on the leftovers of other predators like lions. But they are also skilled hunters that are known to hunt and feed on wildebeest, antelopes, zebras, etc. when they are in groups.

Hyenas are very good hunters as their body mechanism allows them to be so. They live in groups and are often seen for having successful hunts.

So, that’s also why the lions hate hyenas when they see them entering inside or roaming nearby their territory. They attack hyenas to avoid the competition for food in or nearby their territory.

Do hyenas attack lion? Can hyenas kill lion?

Yes, hyenas attack lions but only when they are in a group of at least 15 to 20 adult hyenas. A single hyena can in no way attack a lion as it is always at risk of being killed by the lion.

They are often seen attacking a lioness when she is alone. They do always prefer attacking a lioness than attacking a male lion.

Hyenas are more afraid of male lions because male lions usually have a reputation for successively dealing with hyenas whenever they have an encounter with them.

Hyenas in groups try to attack the lions when they are more in number by strategically surrounding them from all sides. This often leads the lions to flee away from the ground, and later the hyenas dine over the lion’s prey.

In many cases, it has been also reported that the hyenas try to grab and kill the lion cubs. After killing, they take the cubs away from the site and feed on them. In such a case, the hyenas are always at risk of being killed by the lions if they get caught.

Hyenas are extremely clever killers. During the scarcity of food, if they find a weak and sick lion alone, then they are known to attack and kill and feed upon the lion.

So, if the lions or the hyenas are in a big enough number they could wipe out the other group. But, in most of the cases, almost 90% of the cases, if a conflict arises between the two, the hyenas are often seen to flee away or they may get killed.

And, it’s very rare to see a lion getting killed by the hyenas as a single lion is comparable to 6 adult hyenas in terms of strength, muscles make-out, and aggressiveness.

Are hyenas stronger than lions? Are hyenas dangerous to lions?

No, hyenas are not as stronger as lions. In fact, a lion is 6 times more stronger than a hyena.

Hyenas have strength in numbers, that is when they are in a group of 15 to 20 hyenas they become capable of attacking a lion.

But, it is not possible for a large group of hyenas to attack a lion pride where there are many lions and lionesses. In such a case, they will simply avoid any type of conflict with the pride.

Hyenas are very much dangerous for the lion cubs if there’s is no adult lion guarding them. Hyenas are also dangerous for a weak old lion as it is very prone to be attacked and killed by the hyenas.

However, in the case of an adult muscular male lion, then it’s extremely rare that he will be attacked by the hyenas. Hyenas always prefer not to conflict with male lions as they can be 10 times stronger than the hyenas.

Meaning that if a female lion is 6 times stronger than a hyena, then a male lion is 10 times stronger than a hyena.

And so, if a group of 15 to 20 hyenas is capable of making the lioness flee away, then in such a case, a group of at least 25 to 30 hyenas are needed to make a male lion flee away.

So, hyenas are not so dangerous to the lions and it’s very rare that we have seen a hyena killing a lion. In most cases, hyenas get themselves killed by lions.

If a conflict and fight arise between the two species then it may continue for several moments as the group of hyenas are seen to paw and bite at the lion from the backside, and the lion growling on them.

A lion male is twice the size of a spotted hyena and three to four times as heavy, and his one single paw stroke can kill an adult hyena.

Hyenas, therefore, are careful during encounters with adult lions for good reason, as they are clever and intelligent animals.

Do lions eat hyenas?

Yes, lions can eat hyenas. Many lions have been seen in the wildness of Africa attacking, killing, and eating upon a hyena.

Lions are opportunistic animals and so, mostly during the scarcity of food or during an attack for their safety, they attempt to catch any animal available at that moment of time.

In the wild, many male lions have been reported to aggressively attack hyenas who try to enter their territory for killing the lions’ cubs, or for stealing away their prey, or for taking on the territory of the lion.

After attacking, they are mostly seen to kill the hyenas and take them to their best place, and feast upon them.

However, hyenas can also attack a lion and kill it. And, for such a case there need to be at least 20 to 30 hyenas attacking a single lion. As already said that hyenas are strengths in numbers.

But, if there are two lions, then it’s no way possible for them to kill these lions.

Lionesses are also seen attacking a hyena that has entered their territory. Mother Lions get very aggressive as they take the security of their cubs very seriously.

In such cases, if anyhow they have managed to kill a hyena then they won’t waste it by simply throwing it away. In fact, they will enjoy the feast on the carcass of the hyena.

Both lions and hyenas are apex predators living in the same area, competing for the same food, stealing the food from each other, and sometimes even scavenge the leftover of other predators.

So yes, it is true that lions eat hyenas but it isn’t a common thing. Most probably, lions end up killing and eating hyenas as they are opportunistic hunters and also to cut down the competition for food.

Lions see hyenas and other apex predators as a threat to their territory and life which explains why lions kill and eat them.

However, if there’s good availability of food for them then in most cases, lions will kill and then will simply leave the hyenas rather than eating them away.

Are hyenas afraid of lions?

Yes, hyenas are afraid of lions as they know that a lion is strong and muscular enough to kill them. But, when they are in groups that take the risk of attacking a lion and make it flee away from the spot.

Hyenas often take the risk of attacking a male lion if they find him entering their territory or stealing away their kill.

Yes, in such a case, hyenas do know that if the lion is able to catch one of them then he can easily kill it. But then also, the hyenas in a group don’t afraid a lot as they do better know that they have strength in numbers.

It is a common behavior seen among animals especially in the case of apex predators like lions and hyenas. So, when lions and hyenas cross each other’s path they react with hostility and aggressiveness.

Lions are extremely powerful animals and all that it takes is just 2 male lions to fight a group of 20 to 25 hyenas very easily.

In the wild, there have been many instances where male lions are found to take pleasure in harassing or killing hyenas.

It has also be seen that lions can very often catch a hyena, play with it and can severely injure the hyenas, and then will leave it to die rather than killing them.

So, yes hyenas are afraid of lions, but they do also take the risk of attacking while in a group if they have found one lion all alone.

Are Hyenas smarter than lions?

Yes, hyenas seem to be smarter and clever than the lions and most of the other big cats.

They are very strategic planners and are known to better cooperate with each other while defending themselves, killing their prey, or in times of stealing any other predator’s kill.

They do have better brains than the lions and are also known for having a good numerical assessment in the list of their various cognitive abilities.

They are very social animals and are well-known for their ability to keep track of complex social rivalries when living in big groups.

They are known for their various social skills, which include distinguishing their kin from non-kin, and also for keeping track of the relative social status of different individuals.

They have intelligence levels that can be compared to that of the primates like lemurs, monkeys, apes, and even humans.

They have been known to better adapt to problem-solving and can even know how to count.

They with the strength in numbers better know how to compete with each other and other packs that invade their territories.

In the wild, they have been often seen to follow the trial and error method to learn how things work.

Mostly by the various trial and error methods, the baby hyenas learn various techniques that include biting, flipping over, digging underneath, and pushing.

Yes, all of the above-mentioned things can be also be seen amongst the lions, but the hyenas are known to act and solve their problems much more effectively than a lion.

It’s all because they have more and better intelligence awareness and problem-solving skills than the lions.

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