Carnivores (meat-eaters) in the wild, like lions, are built to kill.
Lions have powerful large paws and sharp claws designed to catch, kill and rip apart prey. Super strong and mega large jaws assure that first bites are fatal. While long, razor-sharp teeth easily tear meat of the bones of their victims.
And not only is a lion totally geared to hunt and kill, his prime state of mind will instinctively trigger to attack, eliminate and eat greedily.
So you might get the idea that top predators have a superior position. After all, no other animals will have the mindset to hunt or chase an adult lion.
On the other hand, it’s not easy for a lion to find a meal, whereas for herbivores (plant-eaters), like elephants, finding a shrub is pretty straight forward. A lion’s meal can be way bigger than him and even fight back. And considering that lions run the risk of spending a lot of energy for just one meal it better be a big one!
Basically, it’s all about how much energy is lost hunting a meal and how much energy is gained from actually eating it. Killing prey may seem a lot of work, but actually the searching process is the crucial part that takes most time and energy. Lions either quickly capture their prey or give up.
And although herbivores like elephants, and even hippo’s (who are mostly herbivorous), don’t generally chase carnivores – if only because of their speed – it doesn’t mean that they sometimes get sufficiently annoyed by their meat-eating habits.
Occasionally you will witness such events where elephants and hippos will tell the likes of lions and wild dogs just to back off… just see for yourself in the video below.