See This Determined Lion Pride Overcome a Crocodile – Eventually!

Having Trouble Watching? Unfortunately sometimes creators disable or remove their video after we publish. Try to Watch on YouTube

Written by Sharon Parry

Published: November 20, 2023

Share on:

Continue reading for our analysis...

© Johan Swanepoel/

There must be at least eight lions trying to subdue a large crocodile in this clip and it is proving to be quite a challenging undertaking! The bolder lions take the lead and try to attack the reptile from different directions. Most of them go for the tail because, let’s face it, the rear end of a crocodile is a safer bet than the front.

The crocodile writhes around and snaps at the big cats who all manage to leap out of the way. Lions normally try to dispatch their prey with a lethal bite to the throat. This crushes the trachea (windpipe) and stops the animal from being able to breathe. That is proving difficult with an animal with jaws as large and as powerful as this crocodile’s. At the end of the clip, it’s not entirely clear who has won, but the crocodile is looking very depleted and is likely to be the lions’ next meal.

How Big Do Crocodiles Normally Get?

Nile crocodile Mother and hatched baby

Nile crocodiles often weigh over 1,000 pounds.

12,184 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

©Catchlight Lens/

Nile crocodiles are large animals! Getting accurate data on the weight of these animals is not exactly easy. They are not going to cooperate readily with researchers and you need a weighbridge to accurately record their weight. Having said that, they are generally regarded to weigh up to around 900 pounds. However, individuals weighing over 1,300 pounds have also been seen and rarely they can weigh over 2,000 pounds. They usually reach around 13 feet in length but some can reach over 16 feet.

Nile crocodiles are the largest crocodile in Africa and the second largest species of crocodile in the world. As well as a muscular body, you can see in this clip how long and powerful their tail is. They have a narrow head and their eyes, ears, and nostrils are positioned at the top of the head so that they can remain submerged in the water but still know what is going on. Their body is covered in dark olive green to gray leathery scales. However, their true color is often obscured by layers of mud and dust. This suits the crocs fine because it means that they are even better camouflaged.

Do Lions Normally Hunt Crocodiles?

Lions are powerful and skilled predators who can overcome a wide range of prey. There is no doubt that lions successfully hunt Nile crocodile hatchlings. However, not so many of them are willing to take on an adult. Having said that, there are documented examples of some prides that have learned how to overcome crocs. Once lions have perfected this technique, they are likely to do it again. However, it would usually take several lions working together to overcome a Nile crocodile.

Share this post on:
About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.