When a predator, lion, leopard etc dies, do other predators clean up the body or only vultures?
Lions and leopards - and hyaenas (and certain other smaller predators) will not only eat other animals that are already dead but will also 'steal' dead prey animals from other predators.
The only large predator in Africa which will only eat prey that it has killed itself is the cheetah.
Lions, leopards, wild dogs and hyaenas, for example, are all opportunistic - they will steal the (dead) prey form each other if possible, remembering that all predators have to conserve their energy and, as such, if they can steal prey from a 'weaker' competitor, that will save energy for them.
This is just one of the reasons that Cheetahs are endangered - they are, in comparison to all of the other large predators in Africa, 'the weakest link' and, as a result, they often have their kills 'stolen' from them by stronger predators.
As a general rule predators do not eat the meat of other (dead) predators (as opposed to prey species) - but they have often been recorded as doing so in certain circumstances... I could give many examples of this but it would be far more informative, for anyone who is interested in this subject, to research it for themselves.
From what I read in several books on the big cats, lions and leopards will generally not eat an animal that is already dead. However, the books also said that leopards and lions will hunt and kill a cheetah and eat it, but only if they themselves have made the kill.
I asked the question because I had read that predator meat is unappetizing, so I wondered how those bodies were disposed of. It would take quite a while for the insects/microorganisms to break it down I think. Thanks for answering Bugz
Microorganisms in the soil i would imagine they break it all down. But on a TV programme i watched last night natural world very sadly one of the chetahs was killed and its body just left the lions did not eat it! :cry: