Lions eat snakes and Its true

Do lions eat snakes? The one-sentence answer to this question is yes, lions eat snakes. Lions can eat snakes, but they rarely eat snakes. Lions are carnivores. And as carnivores, they can take any animal as food. Lions can also eat snakes. But they rarely eat snakes.

Logical explanation of lions eating snakes

Many say that lions do not eat snakes. That is not true. The true is that lions eat snakes. But they don’t hunt snakes regularly but do sometime.

The logical explanation for this is that, lions rarely prey small snakes but often seen preying on pythons and eat pythons meat. The Python is the largest snake in the world. The average weight of an adult python is 90–113 kg. That’s why an adult Python can be a good source of meat for lions. So lions prey on pythons as they are a good source of meat. Since lions prey on pythons and eat python meat, it is easy to assume that lions can eat snakes.

Lions eat snake rarely

There are several reasons that lion rarely eat snakes. We found four possible reasons for this. Which discussed bellow.

01. Snakes are not an Ideal Food source for Lions

After the polar bear, the lion is the largest land carnivore. A lion needs 5-7 kg of meat per day for its physical needs. A snake can never be a good source of 5-7 kg of meat. So lions do not hunt snakes other than pythons as they cannot provide the food required by lions.

Now comes the question of whether lions are seen preying on birds or small mammals, which may not be the right source of meat for lions like snakes. So why do lions hunt them but not snakes? You will get the answer on the second point.

02. Snakes are Dangerous Prey

The lion’s diet includes small and large herbivorous mammals. The advantage of preying on herbivores is that they cannot counterattack. When a lion attacks any herbivore, they try to run away instead of defending themselves. Lions are very strong and can run very well. As a result, lions can easily hunt herbivores.

On the other hand, when a lion attacks a snake in the open, the snake first tries to run away, but if they don’t get a chance to escape, they try to attack the lion in self-defense. Snakes have two methods of self-defense. Either run away or bite and poison the predator’s body.

Most terrestrial snakes in Africa are deadly venomous. The venom of these venomous snakes acts on the bodies of most animals. If any venomous snake bites a lion, the lion can get sick or even die. There is a record of an adult female lion dying after being bitten by a black mamba in Africa.

So lions avoid snakes instead of attacking them, even though they hunt birds and other small mammals such as rabbits. Because the lion knows very well that there is poison in the snake’s bite.

03. Social behavior of lions

Lions are social animals. They live in groups. We know a group of lions are called Pride. Depending on the size of the lion’s territorial area, a pride can comprise 5–40 lions.

Almost everyone in the group participates while hunting. In particular, female lions participate directly in hunting. After hunting, the whole lions of the pride eat the prey together. Rarely does a lion eat alone.

An adult lion has a daily requirement of 5–7 kg of meat. As such, a lion pride requires about 150–250 kg of meat per day. That’s why lions mostly hunt large mammals like giraffes, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, waterbuck, deer, etc. Because these prey provide food for the entire pride but snake don’t provide 150-250 kg meat.

04. Lion hunting techniques

Lions are ambush hunters by nature. They go very close to the prey without noticing the prey and catch the prey by running.

Hunting snakes is tricky for lions. Again, being chased by a lion, the snake can easily hide behind the grass. As a result, a lion cannot hunt a snake.


Sometimes we see lions playing or fighting with snakes. However, records of lions killing and eating small snakes are rare. A lion pride has often been seen hunting large pythons and eating python meat. So it is easy to say that lions can eat snake meat. But it can be a large python not a small venomous snakes.

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