Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:

Although humans are apex predators, some animals are better predators than humans in their natural environment. They are often described as man-eaters. 

Whether they hunt humans for survival or a response to a threat, human flesh is a delicacy they are hardly ever willing to forgo.



Lions are the tenth most deadly animals to humans and are responsible for an average of 200 deaths annually.  Humans hunt lions for their fur and bones and lions attack humans whenever the opportunity arises. 

Humans are not a lion’s common prey because they rarely dwell with wild animals. But there have been instances where a lion attacked a human and even took its time to eat it. 


Shark attacks make the headlines almost every year, usually at local beaches, and in the shark capital of the world, Florida.

While many of these attacks are unprovoked,  few people ever survive because they end up as small bits of bones and flesh in the shark’s mouth. 

Sometimes, the scent of blood from an unhealed injury or some other animal in the water leads them to the human. Other times, a person just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The worst part about being in the water with a shark is that their vision is ten times better in the water, and is very violent and powerful in the water. It is rare for any human to escape a shark attack.

Some shark attacks could also result from the shark’s instinctive impulse to guard its food source from intruders.


Hyenas devour humans. Whether striped or spotted, one hyena can kill a human on its own, even though they are pack animals. 

Hyenas are very clever and social animals. They are scavengers and formidable predators. 

Hyenas steal fresh kills from lions, leopards, and cheetahs. They kill prey far more frequently than people believe due to their intelligence and ability to coordinate hunts. 

In some African countries where wildlife roams free and may often run into settlements, there have been reports of hyenas mauling humans to death. 


Komodo dragons are carnivores, which include human flesh. While they do not indulge in human flesh because of their habitat, these lizards have been reported to use their sharp teeth and quick-acting venom to bring down large prey, including humans.

Komodo dragons dig up human bodies from shallow graves. The Komodo dragon is poisonous, a fact not widely understood until recently. 

These creatures have a lethal venom capable of killing humans. Their type of venom may inhibit blood clotting. If a human suffers a bite from a  Komodo dragon, they could bleed to death because the venom would prevent the blood from clotting.

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In many cultures, pork is forbidden because the food of pigs is undefined. Hungry pigs will devour almost anything, ranging from carcasses of animals to grasses. Pigs won’t hesitate to eat any human that has the misfortune of passing out or fainting in its habitat. 

Pigs can eat humans without leaving a trace of any remains. There have been multiple reports of farmers becoming pig food after fainting on the farm while conducting a normal routine.

The situation is no different in the wild. Most wild pig species are nocturnal, hunting mostly at night, making them more dangerous since the humans they attack are likely asleep. 


Hollywood may portray animals inaccurately as in Finding Nemo, but its depiction of wolves as man-eaters is accurate. These animals are scavengers and opportunistic eaters. While they will avoid residential areas and other places with people, they will not waste any time attacking humans if humans corner them.

Also, wolves will attack and kill humans if provoked or in instances where there is a great shortage of prey. But the chances of wolves attacking humans are very slim. They usually prefer to avoid humans.


This list is not exhaustive at all. Many carnivores will eat humans, but not many will hunt humans. And the few that may hunt humans if they get a chance hardly ever get a chance to do so. 

Other carnivores worthy of mention include scavengers like coyotes and vultures. There are other smaller ones that live in the human and consume the body as a natural decaying process. These are larvae. Flies lay eggs on a corpse that has been exposed to the natural elements for more than 12 hours, and they grow to become maggots or worms.

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