Watch an Indomitable Croc Take On a Lion in the Quest for Buffalo Meat

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Written by Rachael Monson

Updated: November 10, 2023

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African lion male jumping out of river in Kruger National park, South Africa

Lion vs. Crocodile – When two hungry predators meet, the battle that happens is incredible to watch!

In the video found at the bottom of this article, you’ll see that the lion has made a good kill, a large adult water buffalo. However, it makes the mistake of taking it down its prey in the water. A large crocodile lunges for some meat and the lion attempts to drag the carcass away. The crocodile isn’t giving up and it swings its huge head full of teeth toward the lion in a show of power.

Watch these two fierce predators scuffle over a fresh kill. Check out this interesting video and tell us what you think! Are these incredible animals sharing the meal or fighting over it? I suppose it all depends on your perspective.

The lion smacks the crocodile on the top of its snout several times telling it to back off. The crocodile manages to grab a bite and scarf it down. The lion tries again to move its meal away, but the hungry crocodile still wants more. The lion attempts to drive the crocodile away by swatting at it. The crocodile doesn’t appear to be backing down any time soon. Tourists watch as the struggle goes on.

Find out which animal wins their dinner when you watch the video at the end!

Do these two predators often meet?

Saluting Safari

If you love the dose of adrenaline, you should visit Sabi Sands Game Reserve.

©Martin Mecnarowski/

Yes. Filmed in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa, this crocodile vs. lion encounter isn’t too rare. Like many places in Africa, lions and crocodiles both live, hunt, and breed in this vast reserve. Since they compete for resources like food and water, clashes are bound to happen.

A young lion, unaware of the danger, may suffer a crocodile attack if it goes into the water or if it gets too close. The power and strength of a lion could overpower a small crocodile. Because they both need water to live, these situations are not uncommon. Crocodiles are ambush predators which makes them fast and agile hunters.

They are able to propel themselves with speed and power from the water to latch onto an animal taking a drink. They will then drag their prey underwater to drown it or rip a piece off while it’s still alive. Lions are pack hunters. They work together to take down prey many times larger than themselves. They do this to feed their large families called pride. Their teamwork could confuse a crocodile and lots of claws and teeth could do a lot of damage.

Who might win a lion vs. crocodile battle could hinge on the location. On land, the lion would have the advantage because they are quick and nimble. In the water, the crocodile has the upper hand by all accounts. Another factor is bite force. The bite force of a lion is roughly 650 psi (or pounds per square inch). The bite force of a crocodile is an amazing 3,700-5,000 psi and is the strongest of any animal measured. In comparison, the bite force of a human is only 162 psi. If the lion gets bitten by the crocodile first, chances are it’s game over for the lion.

Are lions afraid of crocodiles?

Crocodile emerges out of water completely camouflaged

Crocodiles can launch sneak attacks on prey.


The short answer is yes. This video centers around a crocodile vs. lion battle, but most lions are very careful when it comes to crocodiles. Since crocodiles live relatively long lives and never stop growing, lions will be extremely cautious of the huge predators. Lions will almost always choose to avoid crocodiles if they can.

When lions come to a watering hole to drink, you can see them keeping their eyes up. They are watching for any signs of movement from the water while they drink. As a general rule, lions are very watchful of their surroundings. Even the animals they hunt can be a threat if lions aren’t careful. Baby lions are in the most danger when it comes to crocodiles. They are also at risk from other apex predators like hyenas, leopards, and even other lions. Young lions, still learning to hunt, may try to take on a crocodile in hopes of an easy meal. In that lion vs. crocodile encounter, the lions would find out that even small crocodiles can be quite the worthy adversary both in and out of the water.

How Large Do Lions Get in the Wild?

Male lion looks directly into camera

Lions are territorial and will protect their pride at great costs.

©The Len/

Male lions can reach lengths of about 9 to 10 feet and weigh up to 500 pounds. Conversely, females typically grow to 7 to 8 feet in length and weigh between 270 and 350 pounds. In their natural habitat, African Lions have an average lifespan of 15 to 18 years, while under human care, they can live between 25 to 30 years.

While lions can grow to be a staggering size, Tigers hold the title of being the world’s largest wild cat!

Is It Normal Behavior for Lions to Attack Crocodiles?

Animal, Animal Body Part, Animal Eye, Animal Hair, Animal Whisker

Lions assert dominance by occasionally killing crocodiles and leaving their bodies behind.


Lions occasionally kill crocodiles and leave their bodies behind to assert dominance. If the conflict arises from the lion’s attempt to steal the croc’s food, the crocodile might avoid their aggression. Yet, if the crocodile fiercely defends the carcass, the lions may choose to kill it.

As a pack, they hunt larger prey to increase their chances of success. However, when it comes to a small crocodile, they can handle it alone. Additionally, it’s normal for them to hunt smaller prey in between larger kills.

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About the Author

Rachael Monson is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her primary focus is cats, big and small. She also works as senior veterinary assistant and has been in that field since 2012. A resident of Mississippi, she enjoys spending her off time playing video games with her husband and hanging out with her pets (a Bengal cat named Citrine and Basset Hound/Pomeranian mix dog named Pepsi).

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