Crocodile Decides to Ambush a Lion Pride: Big Mistake

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Written by Kirstin Harrington

Updated: November 10, 2023

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Continue reading for our analysis...

pride of lions
© Teresa Moore/Shutterstock.com
Key Points:
  • In the video below, a crocodile appears out of nowhere in the middle of a pride of lions. A few female lions scatter and the dominant male lion attempts to attack the apex predator. 
  • Lions are unique among big cats who usually live solitary lives as lions live in groups called prides.
  • Because their diets overlap, African lions and Nile crocodiles are fierce rivals. The biggest male lions can reach up to 675 pounds and 8 feet long in the wild but the largest crocs can weigh well over 2,000 pounds and grow more than 20 feet in length.

The lion is distinct from other wild carnivorous cats around the world in a number of ways. Its social behavior is one of the main distinctions. While some lions roam freely and choose to travel and forage alone or in pairs, the majority of lions live in social groups called prides. It is a characteristic that is extremely uncommon among the huge cat species found around the world, the majority of which hunt alone even as adults.

The most fundamental form of lion social structure is represented by resident prides, which inhabit hunting territories large enough to support the pride during periods of food and water scarcity. According to the suitability of the environment and the availability of prey, lion numbers, home territory sizes, and social group sizes change. 

Pride of Lions

The majority of lions live in prides, which can vary in the number of individuals and home territory size.

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©Henrico Muller/Shutterstock.com

They are typically higher in moist meadows where there is an abundance of game and lower in drier bushes where there are fewer prey animals. Although prides can have up to 40 members, both in the Serengeti and Kruger National Park, the typical pride has 13 members.

A Crocodile Takes a Chance

Crocodiles aren’t afraid to attack large animals.

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A YouTube Short shows that even a ferocious pride of lions can be spooked. In the clip, we see the big cats relaxing in the sun when suddenly a crocodile appears out of nowhere! One of the female lions and the dominant male lion attempt to attack the apex predator

Could a Lion Beat a Crocodile in a Fight?

lion versus crocodile

If one croc was up against an entire pride of lions the lions would probably prevail, but what about one single lion against a single crocodile? The lion wouldn’t have a chance.

The biggest male lions can reach up to 675 pounds and 8 feet long in the wild — but the largest crocs can weigh well over 2,000 pounds and grow more than 20 feet in length.

The lions have an impressive bite force at 1,000 PSI, but crocodiles have the strongest bite of any other animal in the world at 3,700 PSI.

While an extremely famished lion could technically hunt a crocodile, it’s unlikely. They’re at a disadvantage due to the hard exterior of the crocodile’s body and their ability to death roll any animal they can catch in a body of water. Those are good reasons why an adult crocodile has no predators other than humans with guns.

Smart Choices

African lions and Nile crocodiles are rivals due to competing for the same food sources.

©keith hudson/Shutterstock.com

It’s an interesting battle to envision: Lion vs. Crocodile on Pay-Per-View! A comment on the video makes a good point. The viewer states: “They (the lions) are intelligent to not get hurt unnecessarily, their health is key to survival. They don’t appear to be starving either. The male lion is a delight to watch.”

The croc in this footage isn’t going down without a fight, either! With his large jaw hanging open, he’s telling every lion in the area to back off. Surprisingly, the big cats listen. Lions are cautious of crocodiles and will typically remain out of the water to avoid them. 

What transpires, though, when these animals enter a lion’s territory? Because their diets overlap, African lions and Nile crocodiles are fierce rivals. This rivalry surely leads to tremendous competition. There are past instances when lions will be drinking at the water’s edge and a crocodile will strike, dragging the big cat under the surface. 

It’s truly mesmerizing to watch such incredible animals come face-to-face with one another.


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About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

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