Sneaky Lion Takes Advantage of a Sleeping Hyena

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: February 18, 2024

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© keith hudson/

The art of stealth is a valued skill in the wild. And many animals have it packed down. Predators are often known for their ability to chase and violently hunt down any prey. However, if they can conserve that energy and avoid expending their energy, then they will. Don’t miss this sneaky lion attack in the video above!

Lions Hunting for Food

In Africa, two lions are filmed hunting for food. The Incredible Wild Animals Sighting YouTube page shared this video, and it’s already garnered more than 74,000 views. This channel most recently shared footage of lions hunting buffaloes, a wildebeest getting attacked, and a group of hyenas trying to steal food from a pride of lions. 

Hyena Taking An Afternoon Nap Gets Ambushed 

At the beginning of the video, we see that a tourist or tour guide was able to get a close-up of the king of the jungle sneaking around in the tall grass. Just up ahead, he sees a hyena (Crocuta crocuta) sleeping peacefully. A dire mistake that will cost this lone hyena in just a moment. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Although hyenas are top predators themselves, they are frequently killed or wounded by lions.” So, although lions do not typically eat hyenas, they will kill them as one of their greatest enemies. 

Once the lion gets close enough, he rushes forward. Another lion counterattacks, leaving this sleeping hyena with no possibility of escape. They both quickly kill the hyena, and as soon as they rush in, we see both the lions leaving. Their work here is done. 

Do Male Lions Hunt?

African Cape or Water Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) charges African Lions (Panthera leo) on the Masai Mara National Reserve safari in southwestern Kenya.

Male lions weigh up to 550 pounds, whereas female lions usually weigh up to 250 pounds.

©Amy Nichole Harris/

As with every species of animal, there is an order to how they live and what roles they take on. The IFAW, International Fund for Animal Welfare shares that “The lionesses do most of the hunting, relying on stealth and speed to approach their target before launching a coordinated attack.” 

The lioness (Panthera leo) will hunt prey such as antelope, warthogs, and zebras. However, just because the lionesses are known as the hunters for the pride does not mean that the male lion doesn’t hunt. 

The male’s typical responsibility is the protector of the pride and their territory, but he will also hunt. As the larger gender, male lions are successfully able to take down larger prey such as buffalo or even giraffes at times. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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