Continue reading for our analysis...
- Lions are formidable hunters but are more successful when they hunt together in prides.
- A study found that the success rate of lions increased by 11-13% when hunting in groups.
It was a family affair for this large pride of lions against a single crocodile. A dozen lions from various ages indulged in an extraordinary hunt. One strong lioness led the charge, pinning the croc to the ground with her jaws. Other pride members joined as she attempted to drag the reptile for more leverage. Breaking the skin of a crocodile has proven to be extremely difficult, so she needed some assistance. As she moves her prey, she releases a bit of tension, allowing the deadly animal to attempt an attack. The lionesses’ clan backs her up, helping her pin the croc with their powerful paws. Some younger members of the group participated from a safe distance, being sure not to underestimate this apex predator. As the video progresses, the crocodile launches one final attack but leaves itself exposed. Finally, the lionesses finish the job, and the pride enjoys a well-earned kill.
A safari guide captured the footage in the Busanga Plains. The Busanga Plains are situated in Kafue National Park, the oldest and largest national park in Zambia — a country in Southern Africa. Keep reading to learn more about the success of lions when hunting in prides.
Why Do Lions Hunt in Groups?
Lions like to hunt in groups primarily because of their considerable strength in numbers. A pride of lions is far more deadly than one, especially when taking on large prey or, like in the footage, lethal predators such as crocodiles. One study found that the success rate of observed lions increased by 11-13% when hunting in groups.
As mentioned, lions take on significant challenges. While crocodiles are hefty animals in their own right, lions prefer to hunt even larger prey like zebras, wildebeest, and antelope. One lion is certainly capable when desperate enough, but challenging animals of that size come with inherent risks. That is why male lions seek partnerships with other males and form coalitions. Or, preferably, they will take over a pride to establish dominance in a territory and build their empire. A solitary life for a lion is practically a death sentence. More often than not, they will require the power of a group to survive and thrive in their ecological niche.
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