You are an Evil Overlord, who rules a nation as the top of its oligarchy. You rule your commanders with absolute control. They are treated nicely, but if they get to rowdy, they are called into your ‘office’ where they get disposed of.

Let’s say Mr. Evil Overlord has built a trap door into the floor of his office, and underneath has a 700 sq. ft pen, plus an extra 50 sq. ft behind a thick metal door. When the door raises, an adult male lion walks out, and the commander you disposed of gets eaten.

If the adult male lion gets about three 205 pound humans dropping into its pen every week, will it be full? Are their any other problems with the design?

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    $\begingroup$ If people keep going into your office and not coming out, I suspect people will... stop going in. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Sep 25 '18 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Dubukay: They don’t have a choice $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Sep 25 '18 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ How are you going to make them? Threaten to feed them to lions if they don’t show up?? $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Sep 25 '18 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ When they go in they think they have a chance to persuade you to spare them. If they run away they have no chance. Ideally you should let about 2/3 of the ones that you'd plausibly dispose of, walk out again forgiven. $\endgroup$ – J Thomas Sep 26 '18 at 0:00
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    $\begingroup$ Why not use spikes? Or Crocodiles? Lions are a messy bunch, Crocs eat everything. But spikes removes all the unnecessary maintenace for a "eat my underlings" pet. $\endgroup$ – Mr.J Sep 26 '18 at 0:07

That would be quite an overfeeding for the lion.

The National Zoo in DC has six lions. Together, they eat 500 pounds of beef a week. That pegs a single lion at consuming roughly 83 pounds a week. It definitely wont find the need to consume 615 pounds of human.

Another thing to consider is that you are giving them the bare minimum living space. The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries requires 1200 sq. feet for 2 lions. That suggests that your 700 sq. ft. pen is barely sufficient for storing a lion. As such, they may not be the great killer you hope. They may be rather down and depressed. I certainly hope you don't keep them in the 50sq. ft pen except at feeding time!

Also, you are likely to have some bones to dispose of. In the wild, there's an entire food chain dedicated to finishing off a meal like this. In here, it's all up to the lion. Given that they're already overfed, it's unlikely they'll clean up your bones for you.

But don't worry. I'm certain this won't hamper your creativity as an evil genius.

  • $\begingroup$ So, one 200 pound human a week, with leftovers? And up the space to 1,400 sq ft. So the lion has space. Also, add some things to give the lion a more natural habitat. Is that good enough? $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Sep 26 '18 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ You can have the lion in an open space and train it so it associates the open door with food time. If you have a genetically modified lion so its larger or hungrier you could just open the door and it would rush in itself. Also I doubt a lion would eat 100% of a human. There are parts that it might avoid unless necessary and you could wash away the dead bodies to stop it from overeating. $\endgroup$ – Shadowzee Sep 26 '18 at 2:24
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    $\begingroup$ @RobertPaul I'm no veterinarian, but that seems to be sufficient. Those appear to be the aspects zoos care about, and they obviously succeed at keeping lions. Of course, you might have to train the lions not to be afraid of the humans. You might have to feed them a few children first. Thank goodness you're an evil overlord. Oh, and your veterinarian is going to have to have some serious cojones to work with an animal that has literally been trained that arms are food. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Sep 26 '18 at 3:27
  • $\begingroup$ The average human is only 136 lb, so that is 4 or 5 lions just for that. $\endgroup$ – Praearcturus Jul 21 '20 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Oddly one of the things that tend to survive animal attacks are feet, most shoes are enough of a pain in the ass that most large predators do not bother. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 21 '20 at 22:28

My immediate concern is that your lion will likely get bored. An underground pen where nothing happens except food falls in a few times a week. If he gets too bored he will jump out when the trap door opens and look for some excitement.

You could make the pit deep enough that he can't jump out, and then probably the food will die when it hits the floor and the lion is not much use.

It sounds like you have the lion trained to stay in the little pen behind a thick metal door so it can't get out while the trapdoor is open. I'm sure this is even more boring, but you could tell the lion trainer to just send it behind the door when you're about to dump somebody in the pit, so they don't land on the lion and hurt it, and the lion can't jump out.

I think the better solution is to have a pleasant outdoor environment for your trained lions, and only send one in when you have a job for them. Of course, this provides some chance that someone can get past the lion and outside, into the lions' den.

Don't depend on humans to feed your lion. That's likely to leave you occasionally killing people who haven't done anything wrong, just because the lion is hungry. And that will make your minions less loyal.

Also if you don't feed your lion regularly to make it extra hungry when it finds a human (who is likely to smell bad, and be covered with inedible uniform, and who might even be armed), the lion is also likely to be less loyal to you. He will want to get away.

Better to get the lion trainer to teach the lion to play with a human-size dummy. Like a cat playing with a mouse. Maybe sometimes give it humans to play with for part of the training. If you teach it to play with humans on command, for a reward, it is less likely to do it on its own when it won't get the reward. That's an extra benefit.

So when you dump the human in and the cat gets the signal to play with it like a mouse, you get lots of fun and the cat gets lots of fun, even when it is well-fed. Just make sure the human can't hurt kitty. If he manages to kick the lion in the jaw and damage its ability to bite, that will be a very sad kitty long after the man is dead.

I don't know much about lion training, and I wonder whether they would like catnip rewards. I'm sure food rewards are good.

  • $\begingroup$ the food never falls, if you reread the OP, the Lion just walks up and eats the human. But its underground... confusing right? $\endgroup$ – Mr.J Sep 26 '18 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ Lions are not good at jumping. Tigers are. That's why lion cages in circuses have no roof, while tigers ones do. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Sep 26 '18 at 8:20
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, L.Dutch, I didn't know that. $\endgroup$ – J Thomas Sep 26 '18 at 11:21
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    $\begingroup$ If the food doesn't fall, why is it a trap door in the floor? $\endgroup$ – J Thomas Sep 26 '18 at 11:22

I think its likely your minions will fight back against the lion, which is to say you may have to have a veterinarian on staff to fix the lion up after some adrenalin crazed ex officer gouges out its eyes in self defence. 99/100 your lion will kill the person, but the 100th might be able to inflict enough damage to drive off the lion.

If your minion happens to have a knife or weapon of some type, they might just beat the lion. It only takes a spear to defeat a lion in classic African tribes (though shields or dogs also help)and in at least one case a man killed a tiger with a knife. The tiger attack nearly killed him, but thanks to prompt medical treatment he survived. I doubt you'll want to fix up someone you condemned, but losing your lion will suck if something like that happens.

I think gators is still the best answer as mentioned by others, since they eat the bones whole and although they don't seem dangerous, you can watch the hope drain from your minions eyes while he slowly realizes hes doomed. Multiple animals is also more dangerous than a single one, and gators are easier to keep captive and replace if it dies.

  • $\begingroup$ Alligators are really not that aggressive most of the time, crocodiles would be a better choice, or even hippos. $\endgroup$ – Praearcturus Jul 21 '20 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Praearcturus Ants. Lots and lots of ants. $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Feb 2 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ Not regular ants: 2 inch long, carnivorous ants. $\endgroup$ – Mammon Feb 2 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ @RoyalFacehugger With lasers on their head. $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Feb 2 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thousands of bullet ants, giant desert centipedes, and scorpions. $\endgroup$ – Praearcturus Feb 3 at 13:36

Frame Challenge: Why a Lion?

Lions don't eat everything like crocs do, and a normal lion won't eat a 136 lb. human by itself (at least, not in one sitting). No no, you need something more voracious, something more dangerous (something that can't be killed with a spear alone).

The way I see it, you have a few options:

  1. GM Hippo Hippos are surprisingly carnivorous, with a powerful bite force, and they can move surprisingly fast considering their size, with a max speed of 30 MPH. Being big, they're also hungry. Remember that powerful bite force I mentioned? With the right genes (I'm thinking hyena or Tasmanian Devil), your hippo will not only be able to crush and devour victims bones and all, but will be able to take it's victims attempts at defense.

Your options are A) Brute and B) Raider.

A: Brute With Tasmanian Devil genes, your hippo will have a greater bite force and be much more willing to eat whatever you give it. The narrower snout, viciousness, and opportunism from the Devil will make this hippo quite an attacker, but rhino hide (with osteoderms or pangolin scales) will make it nigh-impenetrable. Putting bear genes into its limbs will make it both more agile and more capable-while hippos can't rip people apart (just crush them between their jaws), bears can and do.

B: Raider This hippo variant will be built lean, mean, and deadly; the frame should be more like a rat, but with longer, stouter legs, with Smilodon-like fangs to match. The snout should be more narrow, like a crocodile's, and to protect the Raider, put in anaconda muscle (oh yeah) and thorny devil skin. That should terrify them, yes? (And bring to mind the ROUS....)

  1. Titanoboa If you don't know what it is, I would look it up. It's a giant anaconda capable of eating crocodiles, let alone people, and anacondas are already capable of eating people, according to Livescience.com: "Anacondas have a legendary status as “man eaters.” There have been reports of humans being eaten by anacondas, though none have been verified. The scientific consensus is, however, that an anaconda could eat a human. They eat prey that is tougher and stronger than humans, according to Rivas. Green anacondas are known to eat white-tailed deer, which weigh about 120 lbs. (54 kg), so it is reasonable to assume they could eat a human of at least the same size."

Put in some black mamba for greater speed, some komodo dragon for aggression, and train it to swallow people whole (for fear factor) and you have a real "winner" here.

  1. Swarm of Rats I'm dead serious, emphasis on dead. wwitrenchlife.weebly.com tells us "Rats were not rare in the trenches. In fact, millions of them invaded the trenches. Two types of rats dominated the trenches: brown and black rats (Duffy, 2009, para, 4). A pair of rats could produce around 900 offspring annually (Duffy, 2009). With ample amounts of food, these beasts flourished. One can use the term “beast” because many soldiers claimed that, in some cases, the rats grew as big as cats."

A swarm of rats as big as cats?! Yeah, that's more than a little bad. Put in some raccoon as well (for cunning and yes, aggression) and you have something really, truly dangerous.

If all else fails, go for a pool of piranha.

  • $\begingroup$ Why not a Rancor? Jabba's palace has the blueprints for the layout and everything. $\endgroup$ – PcMan Feb 2 at 11:15
  • $\begingroup$ Great idea, but I think the OP wants real animals. Otherwise, I would have put in Indominus Rex. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 2 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ No mention of sharks? $\endgroup$ – Studoku Feb 2 at 22:16
  • $\begingroup$ Studoku, you can fight sharks, punch them in the gills or snout, shoot them, stab them.....the point is, they aren't as good as piranhas, which can't effectively be fought off. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 2 at 23:03

Frame challenge

It will stink in your office. Every time the trapdoor opens you will get a waft of rotting meat and lion sh*t. Surely there must be a better way. Why not imitate the Romans and put on a show? That will make everyone want to obey you.


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