What Happened to Mufasa’s Carcass in The Lion King? A New Fan Theory Suggests Cannibalism

Scar, plotting murder (and possibly his next meal, too).
Scar, plotting murder (and possibly his next meal, too). / Walt Disney Pictures

Scar’s brutal murder of Mufasa definitely earned him a spot in the unofficial Disney Villain Hall of Infamy, alongside 101 Dalmatians’s Cruella de Vil and that hunter from Bambi. But what if The Lion King antagonist didn’t just commit fratricide—what if he followed it up by wolfing down his dead brother’s carcass and keeping his skull as a souvenir?

A new theory, put forth by TikTok user Christian Jones (ClassyKing0), suggests Scar did exactly that. After asking what happened to Mufasa’s body after he fell to his death, Jones demonstrates—through a series of Google searches—that hyenas don’t eat carrion all that often, and that lions have been known to eat other lions to assert dominance. Further evidence comes during Zazu’s jaunty rendition of “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts,” when Scar picks up a skull that looks like a lion’s skull.

The theory seems believable for a character as sadistic as Scar, but the factual basis for it is a little tenuous. For one, though hyenas do hunt most of their food for themselves, they’re not opposed to scavenging; and Kenya, which inspired the fictional setting, is home to several vulture species that would’ve happily feasted on Mufasa's regal remains.

Furthermore, while a male lion will occasionally kill and eat cubs when he takes over a pack, it’s pretty uncommon for one to devour a rival. (That said, lions can be unpredictable, and there was an instance in 2010 where a pack of lions in South Africa may have gnawed on a lion they had just killed.) Also, as Bustle reports, YouTube user B King compared the animated skull from the film with images of actual animal skulls, and observed that a baboon’s skull was a closer match than a lion’s.

An actual baboon skull.
An actual baboon skull. / Dcelotti/iStock via Getty Images

In short, real-life animal behavior and osteology leave plenty of room to doubt Jones’s imaginative idea about Scar’s post-crime conduct. But since The Lion King is a far cry from a nature documentary, it’s not impossible.

[h/t Bustle]