What It Would Take For a Lion To Eat a Human

Every mammal on this planet can become a predator, an eater of flesh. Lions, being the second largest cats in the animal kingdom, are surprisingly active hunters and opportunistic feeders. But can they hunt and eat a human being? This article takes a look at what it would take for a lion to eat a human.

Lions as Predators

Lions are apex predators and renowned for being effective hunters. In the wild, they hunt and kill prey such as wildebeest, zebra, impala, buffalo, gazelles, warthogs and other large animals for sustenance. In addition to their killing skills, lions are also excellent scavengers and will feed on carcasses.

Behavioral and Physical Features of Lions That Give Them an Advantage When Hunting

Lions have certain behavioral and physical features that bring them a significant advantage when hunting. For instance, lions are ambush predators, meaning that they conceal themselves until their prey is close before pouncing. Furthermore, they have a heightened sense of smell and hearing, which helps them find and follow prey. Their striking speed and immense strength also come in handy in the hunting process.

Could a Lion Take Down a Human Being?

Despite all their predatory attributes, lions have never been recorded attacking a human being, let alone eat one. It is quite possible a lion could take down a human being easily due to its size, strength, and speed. However, human beings have one crucial advantage over lions; their brains.

Humans are the only mammals with big brains, which enables them to comprehend situations, reason and respond accordingly. This means that before a lion could even come close to taking down a human, it would need enough time to analyze and study the situation, allowing the person ample time to get away.

Instances of Lions Eating Humans

Though attempted attacks are quite common, there are only a few recorded instances in which a lion has eaten a human. Usually, these happen in dire situations, with the victim left severely injured, dead or already unconscious.

In West Bengal, India, a man was attacked by a pair of lions in November 2019. His lifeless and half-eaten body was found in a sugarcane field. According to authorities, it is believed the lions had mistaken him for an animal, due to the lack of visibility at night.

In Rwanda in 2017, a local who had been fishing at night was attacked and eaten by two lions. Although a search was conducted, the body was found to be mostly eaten up.

A woman in Ethiopia in 2002 was also attacked by a lioness who dragged her from her farm and ate her. This occurred when the woman decided to take a stroll outside her village late at night.

Examples of Man Eating Lions

The most famous man-eating lion was named the Maneater of Manewal, popularly known as the ‘Panar Lion’ of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Panar Lion is believed to have killed over 125 people in a single hunting season, mainly within the vicinity of the Panar district. The lion terrorized the region for 3 years until it was killed by British hunter James Corbett in 1910.

The idea of a lion eating a human being may seem far-fetched, but it is possible. Lions have tremendous power and strength, and could easily overpower an unsuspecting human being. Additionally, their advanced senses help them follow their prey with precision and accuracy.

At the end of the day, this behavior is highly uncommon and only occurs in extreme situations. It’s highly unlikely for a lion to randomly attack and eat a human.

Ultimately, if a human has a chance encounter with a lion, the best course of action is to keep its distance, make a lot of noise, look big and back away slowly.