Full documentary (which tells an awesome story, apparently) available on Netflix Streaming.
He who greets with fire:
Lions and spotted hyenas occupy the same ecological niche (and hence compete) where they coexist. A review of data across several studies indicates a dietary overlap of 58.6%. Lions typically ignore spotted hyenas, unless they are on a kill or are being harassed by them, while the latter tend to visibly react to the presence of lions, whether there is food or not. Lions seize the kills of spotted hyenas: in the Ngorongoro crater, it is common for lions to subsist largely on kills stolen from hyenas, causing the hyenas to increase their kill rate. Lions are quick to follow the calls of hyenas feeding, a fact which was proven by Dr. Hans Kruuk, who found that lions repeatedly approached him whenever he played the tape-recorded calls of hyenas feeding. When confronted on a kill by lions, spotted hyenas will either leave or wait patiently at a distance of 30–100 m (100–350 ft) until the lions have finished. In some cases, spotted hyenas are bold enough to feed alongside lions, and may occasionally force the lions off a kill. The two species may act aggressively toward one another even when there is no food involved. Lions may charge at hyenas and maul them for no apparent reason: one male lion was filmed killing two matriarch hyenas on separate occasions without eating them, and lion predation can account for up to 71% of hyena deaths in Etosha. Spotted hyenas have adapted by frequently mobbing lions which enter their territories. Experiments on captive spotted hyenas revealed that specimens with no prior experience with lions act indifferently to the sight of them, but will react fearfully to the scent.
Lions tend to dominate smaller felines such as cheetahs and leopards where they co-occur, stealing their kills and killing their cubs and even adults when given the chance. The cheetah has a 50% chance of losing its kill to lions or other predators. Lions are major killers of cheetah cubs, up to 90% of which are lost in their first weeks of life due to attacks by other predators. Cheetahs avoid competition by hunting at different times of the day and hide their cubs in thick brush. Leopards also use such tactics, but have the advantage of being able to subsist much better on small prey than either lions or cheetahs. Also, unlike cheetahs, leopards can climb trees and use them to keep their cubs and kills away from lions. However, lionesses will occasionally be successful in climbing to retrieve leopard kills. Similarly, lions dominate African wild dogs, not only taking their kills but also preying on young and (rarely) adult dogs. Population densities of wild dogs are low in areas where lions are more abundant.
The Nile crocodile is the only sympatric predator (besides humans) that can singly threaten the lion. Depending on the size of the crocodile and the lion, either can lose kills or carrion to the other. Lions have been known to kill crocodiles venturing onto land, while the reverse is true for lions entering waterways, as evidenced by the occasional lion claws found in crocodile stomachs.
Lion Panthera Leo Cat Cats Felidae Wild Lions Sub-Saharan Africa Asia Endangered Population Gir Forest National Park India Pleistocene Land Mammal Savanna Grassland Social Pride Hunt Apex Keystone Predator Scavenger Mane Upper Paleolithic Period Roman Empire Evolution Tiger Jaguar Leopard Spotted Hyenas Ecological Niche Ngorongoro Crater Feeding Cubs