Lion King Theory
As you all already know, the Pride Lands is a kingdom ruled by lions, with all the other African animals as their subjects. But there is something that really stings my curiosity: How can the animals respect and accept the lions as their king when they obviously get eaten by them? Besides that lions probably only kill for food, and that very quickly, I don't think the herds would like to stay in a land where their leader hunt them down.
This is why I have my own personal theory that surely would fill that hole pierced through that kind of logic.
In this fictional Disney universe, there would be two kind of animals: the sentients and the ferals.
Sentient beings: They are anthropomorphized animals who can talk, sing, have a semi-human conscience while still keeping in touch with their animal habits and instincts. They can communicate with other sentients of different species, except humans.
Feral beings: They are the opposite of sentient beings and the most realistic kind. They mainly function by their instincts and never talk. They are not as expressive as the sentient kind, and sentients cannot interact with them.
So the Pride Lands would be a wide territory entirely inhabited by sentient animals, with the exceptional feral herds. This kingdom would function with some laws created by the first king and his subjects. One law would be that sentient predators feed themselves on feral prey only. Sentients eating other sentients would be against the law. That would explain why sentient herbivores feel safe in the Pride Lands.
Feral predators have no awareness of these laws, and would still attack sentient prey as much as they hunt feral ones. So no feral predator would have their place in the Pride Lands.
Basically, every animal who participates in ceremonies are sentients.
The Outlands and the Elephant Graveyard pretty much would be the place where we find feral animals and sentient ones who don't respect the Circle of Life.
Example of outlaw sentient animals living there: Lions (Zira and the other Outsiders), hyenas (the original trio and Janja's crew), jackals (Goigoi, Reirei and their pups) and vultures (Mzingo and others).
One of the few sentient residants who actually respect the Circle of Life but lives in the Outlands by choice are Jasiri and her clan.
As much as these lands look dull and uninhabitable, there should be a fair source of water and food, though not as abundant as it is in the Pride Lands.
This herd of wildbeests during a stampede you see below is without any doubt feral. I mean look at them! They're not very expressive! (Probably because they were all copy-pasted 3D models during the film's making, eh.)
Yes, I know these animals who are about to attend Simba's presentation don't seem expressive either, but hey! They're animals! Some sentient animals are very expressive, others not so much. I pretty much see a human face in these antelopes, so yeah. Each to their own! I also think facial expressions are more obvious in cartoons.
This concludes the hypothesis on the functionality of this fictional world's universe we all know and love. And there is still plenty of things to discover!