Interspecies Conflict/Lion vs Giraffe


Hi BK how have things been this week? Things are going great for me because the weekend is here. So as usual I have another question. Who would win between a Lion and a Giraffe? I think the giraffe would win but what do you think?

Thank You

Hello Trish.  This week has been good.

Lion vs Giraffe: A giraffe can weigh several times more than a lion.  Although many bull giraffes weigh just over a ton, a large one can weigh over 2 tons.  A male African lion can reach 550lb in weight.  Lionesses do most of the hunting in a lion pride, but males occasionally join in for larger prey items.  Giraffes are sometimes targeted by lion prides, and many bulls survive encounters with multiple lions.  A giraffe is the tallest land animal at over 18ft (which is 4 1/2 times the shoulder height of a lion), and its vulnerable areas are usually well out of reach.  Its kick is very powerful (especially from its back legs), and a direct hit can easily kill a lion.  In order for a lion to kill a giraffe, it would need to apply a throat or neck bite.  Getting into such a position will be very difficult, because leaping high upon a giraffe and hanging onto it with over 400lbs (average for a male lion) of body weight won't be easy because of how the giraffe is shaped (and the fact that the herbivore will be actively resisting).  Each attempt the lion makes to leap and cling onto the giraffe's hide will be dangerous for it each time it fails (it will be in range of the giraffe's kicks).  Lions often attempt to bring large prey items to the ground with their combined weight, but a single lion won't have the power to knock a giraffe off of its base.  A giraffe is usually peaceful and non-aggressive (and prefers to run from danger), but can be very dangerous when forced to defend itself.  Although it's not an impossibility, the chances of any big cat bringing down a bull giraffe solo is quite small.  Giraffe wins.  

Have a great weekend!

Best regards.

Interspecies Conflict

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Questions regarding animal conflicts within realistic or unrealistic settings are welcome; my strength lies in medium-to-large species. Small animals (including birds of prey), prehistoric animals, sea creatures, and domestic dog breeds are usually within my scope, but to a lesser degree. I can't confidently answer hypothetical questions about human vs animal, arachnids, insects, or amphibians, but I am willing to field them nonetheless.


From a young age, I have been interested in animals. Starting with the original Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and World Book Encyclopedias, I have seen many animal shows and documentaries and have read multiple books on the subject. I have a solid understanding of the physiology of many animals and interspecies conflict in general.

Associate degree in unrelated field; biology classes in college.

©2017 All rights reserved.