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I was wondering, if the lion is the strongest animal in the jungle, who is he afraid of? Do other animals eat him?
Question Date: 2005-11-21
Answer 1:

I don't know if the lion really is the strongest animal in the grasslands. (Lions actually live in grasslands, not in the jungle.) It depends on how you measure strength. Other animals can do things that lions cannot do. Hippos are better swimmers, for example, cheetahs and gazelles are faster runners, and so on.

Female lions, called lionesses, are actually stronger runners and better hunters than male lions are! Male lions lie around a lot, and get the females to do all the work for them.

You are right, though, by thinking that there are no other animals that hunt and eat lions. But there are other ways to be the enemy of a lion. Hyenas are a great example. While not as physically strong as a lioness, hyenas can sometimes chase a lioness away from an animal that she has just killed. They can do that because they cooperate as a pack, and together they are smarter and more persistent than the lioness.

So it's sometimes better to be smart and cooperative than it is to be strong! For hyenas, being smart and cooperative and persistent means that they often get a free meal that a lioness has just killed.

Answer 2:

Lion's are at the top of the food chain--nobody eats them. Nevertheless, lions are not the "strongest" animal in the jungle. Elephants are a lot bigger and stronger, but of course they eat plants, not other animals.

Answer 3:

The African lion is the biggest of Africa's predators, and the biggest of the big cats (except for the Siberian tiger), reaching up to nine feet (2.75 m) long, and 650 pounds (in the wild). Also, the female lioness is smaller than the male and has no mane. Lions are distributed over a large geographical area from South to East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. They are found in different habitats: from desert to alpine, except very dense closed forest. It is more common to find lions in the grassy plains or African savannas, although they will move into forest if needed.

Lions are predators and will eat most animals but usually hunt antelope, zebra, gnu, ostrich or buffalo. If they are very hungry, they will eat any animal, including man, which is what makes them dangerous to us. They are also extremely protective of their young and a whoever approaches their cubs is in extreme danger.

The lion is considered one of the strongest animals in its habitat. The other predators such as the leopard, cheetah and hyenas are no match for the strong lion who can kill a hyena with a bow of its paw. So the lion really does not have many predators although it is hunted in some occasions: young cubs can be hunted by other predators if left alone. Also the sick and old individuals are subject to prey. Lions can be killed by being kicked by hoofed animals such as giraffe, gnu, are even deer. When a lion takes over a pride, he will cannibalize the young. This system might seem cruel but this way the head of the pack will start his new family and insures the continuation of his gene pool.

One of the biggest dangers for lions is humans. In protected areas, lions are in no immediate danger of extinction. But they need hundreds of square miles to support a pride. Human activities such as ranching, agriculture and urban development reduce these areas. Also poaching (killing animals) is a threat. All these must be controlled to preserve healthy lion populations for future generations to appreciate.

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