Nuka is the secondary villain in The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride. He is the eldest child of Zira, the older brother of Vitani and Kovu.
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His name means "smell" or "stink" in Swahili. He is very boisterous and is always trying to impress his mother.


Nuka is the oldest son of Zira. He is considerably older than his two younger siblings, appearing first as a 'teenager' while Vitani and Kovu are still cubs. Sometime in between the events of The Lion King and The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride, he was banished to the Outlands alongside Zira and the rest of Scar's followers. Despite being the oldest of Zira's children, he is neglected by Zira in favor of Kovu, Scar's chosen heir.


Nuka is shown to be cowardly, and somewhat dumb. However, Nuka has an inflated opinion of himself, as he claims to be the strongest and the smartest. Because he is neglected by Zira in favor of Kovu, Nuka is shown to have a strong dislike and envy of his younger brother. Nuka also desires to please Zira, in order to get her attention, which eventually leads to his downfall. In addition, its also implied that he has some mental and emotional instability, including pyromania, as evidenced by when, before proceeding to burn a large part of the Pride Lands to trick Simba into allowing Kovu into the pride as part of Zira's plan, he shouts "Woo! Fire!".


Nuka is extremely mangy and is apparently infested with termites (partly due to living in a termite mound). Nuka has dark brown fur and a black mane, and keeps his front claws unsheathed, a trait seen in all  the outsiders. Judging from the thickness of his mane in his first appearance, he would be about a year and a half old. Despite being older than Kovu, his mane does not grow in as thickly - a trait seen in real lions, where stronger lions usually have thicker, fuller manes.

Film Appearances

The Lion King 2 Simba's Pride

Nuka is shown at the home of the outsiders, arguing with his younger sister Vitani over Kovu. Nuka has apparently left Kovu alone, despite being asked to baby-sit him, and it is implied that this happens often. Nuka expresses his jealousy over Kovu's position as Scar's chosen heir, as he was passed over despite being the oldest of Zira's children. He states his intention to tell his mother that he should be the heir, but quickly backs down after Zira returns and scolds him for not watching Kovu. Nuka watches as Zira makes a plan to have Kovu get close to Kiara so that Kovu can eventually kill Simba. Though Nuka likes the idea of killing Simba, he shows displeasure when Kovu's part in the plot is mentioned.

Nuka's next major appearance is as an adult, wandering the Elephant graveyard with Vitani. The two have been tasked with setting a wildfire while Simba's daughter, Kiara, is out on her first hunt. Zira's plot is to have Kovu rescue Kiara from the fire, to allow Kovu to get close to Simba and kill him. The plan is successful, as Kovu saves Kiara from the wildfire, and is allowed to return to the Pride Lands. Nuka secretly follows the pride alongside his mother, in order to spy on Kovu.

When it appears that Kovu is beginning to have second thoughts about his role in Zira's plot, Nuka accompanies the Outsiders as part of an ambush, to try to kill Simba. Simba is cornered in a ravine and is forced to climb a log dam to escape. When Kovu refuses Zira's order to kill Simba, Nuka impulsively decides to do it himself, exclaiming, "I'll do it - for you, Mother! Mother, are you watching?! I'm doing it for you... and I'm doing it for me!"

However, Nuka makes a wrong step, and falls, ending up being crushed under several logs. Kovu rushes forward to dig him out, but is knocked aside by the frantic Zira, who finishes the job herself. Nuka succumbs to his injuries, after apologizing to his mother for his failure. Ironically, through his death, he finally gains his mother's attention and affection, and Zira blames Kovu for Nuka's death by slashing him across the face, which leaves him with a scar on his face.

The film draws parallels between the relationships of Scar and Mufasa and Nuka and Kovu. Scar became jealous of Mufasa's kingship and Simba's potential passage to the throne, which left him out of the direct succession. Nuka has similar feelings towards Kovu, but as he is less intelligent and more cowardly than Scar was, and also because he desires to gain his mother's approval, his jealousy comes across as more 'goofy' than evil.

In an original cut of the film, Nuka's death scene is extended. After Nuka, being crushed in the logs, says "I'm sorry, Mother. I tried well at least I got your attention" before he finally dies. Zira then asks Scar to watch over Nuka.

TV Show Appearances

The Lion Guard

Nuka, along with Kovu, Vitani, Zira and her pride, is set to guest star in the Disney Junior series The Lion Guard episode "Lions of the Outlands", which takes place sometime after Kovu's first meeting with Kiara.

Songs sung by Nuka


  • Nuka : "I could be a leader if she would just give me a chance!"
  • Vitani: "Yeah Right...Why don't you tell that to her?"
  • Nuka : "Yeah, don't think I WON'T!"
  • Vitani : "Oh yeah? Here's your chance."

— Vitani taunts Nuka


Knowable Relatives 

  • Scar (Father/dead)
  • Zira (Mother)
  • Vitani (Little Sister)
  • Kovu (Foster Brother)
  • Kiara (Sister in law)
  • Ahadi (Grandfather/dead)
  • Uru (Grandmother/dead)
  • Mufasa (Uncle/dead)
  • Simba (Cousin)


  • Zira appears to love him as well as Kovu and Vitani, but was too focused on Kovu becoming Simba's murderer that she paid too less attention to him.
  • Nuka's fleas mysteriously disappear the second half of the Movie.
  • He can still be heard saying "Didn't I?" during the finalized movie, possibly a part from the deleted scene the editors forgot to cut out. It, however, is colored and could be intentional. It is often mistaken for a groan of pain.
  • Nuka's mane swaps between black and dark brown frequently throughout the movie while his beard and elbow tufts stay black. His mane remains primarily black though.
  • Nuka is the only Outsider who wants to kill Simba for reasons not relating to revenge about Scar's death

Voice Actors

  • Japanese : Yuji Machi
  • English : Andy Dick

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