If a lion and tiger got into a fight, who would win?

ANSWER: While we would much prefer that people focus their thoughts on saving these magnificent animals than on who would win if a lion and tiger fight, the power of these two largest cats seems to raise this question in people’s minds. While it would depend on the size, age and aggressiveness of the specific animals involved, generally tigers have a significant advantage. On average tigers are larger, but more importantly they are more capable of fighting standing on their hind legs. Some people have argued that the male lion’s mane offers some advantage in protecting his neck, but this is disputed. Some reports claim that when lions and tigers were pitted against each other in the Coliseum in ancient Rome, the tigers always won. In recent centuries there are almost no opportunities for tigers and lions to cross paths in the wild because tigers are found in Asia while Lions are found in Africa except for a very small population in one area in Asia.

Our white tiger Zabu lived with her male lion companion Cameron at Big Cat Rescue. They got along well, but part of their play simulated fighting. These two were saved from being bred to create ligers.

Cameron lion 10/1/00 – 2/19/19

Zabu tiger 5/15/00 – 3/25/19

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  1. I hear all these comments about the big cats. The most ferocious of all the top 10 cats has been determined by the amount of prey on their menu!
    The common house cat has ruffly over 100 different species that they not only will kill and eat, but in the process will torment them as a plaything until they die! I’m a cat lover and admire them all , I respect the cat family but if the house cat were as big as a tiger, none would have a chance! LOL!!

  2. A tiger is bigger and stronger and has to kill for himself , whereas the lion has many females to bring the bacon home. so who is the king ?

  3. Herne (1855) mentioned that in the Indian jungle between the village of Elaw, city of Baroche, and Gulf of Cambay, north of the city of Surat and its Ghauts, about 6 or 7 mi (9.7 or 11.3 km) from the village, he and his party, which included locals, heard a tiger’s roar. Pursuing it, they caught a glimpse of it, but by that time, the tiger had attacked a local. It disappeared with the victim, and after pursuing it for about 50 yd (46 m), they heard the roar of a lion, and besides it, sounds which suggested that it was in a struggle with the tiger, such as growls. The party not only managed to see the lion and tiger rolling about in their battle, after going through bushes, but also the man who fell victim to the tiger. The author termed both the lion and tiger as “tyrants of the forest,” given that they would attack weaker creatures. The tiger was about the same size as the lion, but more agile. As for the lion, it used greater strength, and its mane, which was somewhat deeper than those of its bigger African cousins, could protect its head from the tiger’s claws, though not other parts of its body, such as the back. They were as determined and brave as each other, but the lion endured. It caught the tiger’s throat, turned it on its back, and killed it by clawing its abdomen open. The lion was thus hailed as the “King of Beasts”. Otherwise, the fight had been harsh for both beasts, to the extent that the author felt that it would avenge their victims.

    The Sun (New York) reported that in a depopulated Indian village at the bank of a creek connected to the Cauvery River, about 30 mi (48 km) north-west of Bangalore, a hunter injured by a venomous creature saw a tiger on his left-hand side, and a lion on his right-hand side. The tiger was a “rousing big fellow, who had seen 15 years of his life,” and had muscular limbs. The male lion was “medium-sized”. Both of them stalked him, but they did not notice each other at first, as they were separated by a wall that was about 4 ft (120 cm) tall, and their focus was on the witness. When they got closer to him, the tiger scented the lion, and behaved like an angry cat, which included making a noise that startled the latter. The lion showed its teeth in response, and after reaching the end of the wall, roared at its foe. After the lion’s head showed around the wall, the crouching tiger pounced on it, and rolled over with it. Tigers often kill victims by biting their throats, and keeping their hold on them for as long as necessary, but that was not the case with this struggle. Despite different descriptions of their sizes by the narrator, and that the tiger was more agile than the lion, the tiger’s neck was vulnerable to a bite by the lion, and for reasons like these, it was difficult for either cat to defeat the other, overall. After they temporarily retreated from each other, the hunter could see that they were both injured. Still, they were determined to destroy each other. The lion and tiger respectively roared and snarled. The narrator suspected that their hatred for each other may have been because both had been hunting him at the same time, therefore, their respective presences interfered with each other’s hunt for him. The tiger pounced on the lion’s back, rolling over or falling with it again, and struggling to its feet like it. The lion seemed helpless as the tiger held onto its fore shoulder, before making a move in which it managed to catch the tiger’s neck. Now the tiger seemed helpless, before making a move to use its hind claws to force the lion to release its hold on it. Though the tiger was the aggressor this time, their struggle became more like that of dogs unable to beat each other. They bled from nose to tail as they moved away from the witness, towards the creek. They fell into the water, which was about 2 ft (61 cm) deep, and this stopped the fight. They retreated from each other, limping into the forest.
    Rivalry between the Asiatic lion and “Siberian tiger” is mentioned in Hamilton M. Wright’s work in The San Francisco Call (1911)

  4. There is one thing I know about African lions. An African lion will never back down a fight. They fight till the last of their breath. A tiger is a solitary big cat. Size doesn’t really matter when it comes to combat between the two cat. Lions hunt in packs, usually the female lions does all the hunting but the male lions goes for the bigger animals like Buffalo’s. When it comes to a fight between the cats 1. Experience matters,, 2. Intelligence plays a big role and 3. Age matters (the older the cat ess agility). Thank you for your time.
    I will conclude a fight between the two cats is a 50/50 chance of survival based on the factors mentioned.

  5. A male lion would beat a tiger because the lions main gets in the way of the tigers attack and it can’t get a good enough grip on the throat to deliver the killing bite

  6. Both of those cats are absolutely gorgeous! You can tell that they are extremely comfortable at the rescue center. I’m not sure what to think about sterilizing them. The white tiger, okay sure. Her genes would not be useful to conservation. But the lion appears to be an ideal specimen and could be valuable for conservation projects. I guess it doesn’t matter too much. They are both happy and healthy now, and it would be a shame to separate them after all they went through.

    I also have an interesting observation. Throughout the video, the tiger spent her time patrolling her territory while the lion just relaxed. Do tigers in the wild spend more time traveling than lions do? Could this be because the dense jungle is more difficult to find prey in than the open savanna? Or is it because lions live in groups and defend smaller territories? Or do female lions and tigers spend a lot of time patrolling while male lions are mostly defensive? I do know that male lions patrol and mark territory, but perhaps not as often?

    As for who would win in a fight, I think it really depends on the individual. I think tigers generally have the advantage, due to their larger claws, teeth, brain, etc… But I think that there are a lot of situations where the lion could come out on top. A list of documented fight results on wikipedia affirms this, but you can only trust wikipedia so far.

    Oh, and everyone bringing up the “Lions are the king of the jungle” phrase to bolster your argument, please stop. You’re making fools of yourselves. That title is just a cutesy nickname. Tigers live in the jungle. Lions live in the savannah. The only reason a lion would step foot in the jungle would be if the savannah and jungle bordered each other.

  7. Tigers are heavier and a little faster but the Lion is taller and relentless. The lion will kill a tiger to a fight to the death all day long. They are more tiger fans out there than Lion fans but the lion is simply the better fighter. The Roman script shows that it was surprising to see the tiger win. Every body was betting on Lions and he put his money on the tiger and he won. We don’t know the size of the lion but a Large adult male Lion will kill a bigger tiger any time. Tigers go for the throat which is impossible against an adult lion with mane.
    On the other hand, Lions are used to attacking from all directions. I have scoured the internet looking for a ” tiger kill Lion video to no avail”.

    1. Guys This is all stupid every body should know that a tiger can whip a lion, there was one report in a Turkish zoo that a fully grown tiger attacked a fully grown lion and the tiger killed the lion with one paw swipe to the neck so everybody that says the lions mane protects them that is not true because how did the tiger kill it, and tigers are much better in everything than lions for example, Tigers are faster,physically stronger , they have stronger and more muscle than lions, they are more active and have more energy than lions and they have a much stronger bight than lions, a lions bite is 650psi while a tigers bite is measured at 1050psi!

      1. Correction tigers have 950 psi and lions have 700 psi
        look tiger fans make this a debate but really the lion would win because not to say but the Bible says the lion is the strongest beast in the world. tigers are scaredy cats they fight then leave

        1. Lion isaned pig evolved to living like coward dog always need help lol ???????????????????????
          Tiger would be demolish lion into ground lion gonna be die ??????????????????????????

  8. Lions are fighters by nature- they will fight to death. Its a question of size. A tiger will slip away when it turns ugly! A lion will holdon. Thats why its called the king of the Jungle!

  9. I'm not sure why you're giving me information about what Lions do as a pack. We're talking about a one on one fight first and foremost. Some really obvious facts I'd like to point out. The average Tiger is larger, for siberian and Bengal tigers. Tigers fight with both paws, Lions strike with one. Tigers are scientifically proven to be smarter, or in lamens terms they have larger brains. As for the Rome report it was stated that their were many battles and that the tigers almost always won. I'd love the website that states it was a one time thing, a website that states there was one Lion vs tiger fight lmao. There is none! A tiger losing to a lion would be like a lion losing to a leopard. Size does matter in fights, especially animal fights. Tigers have larger paws, brains, muscles, and body mass. What more needs to be said? Tigers specialize in one on one fights! Lions do not! It's much more political than one on one. Before you reply, please search for your common sense, it's missing. And provide a link with your statements. There are sites that think Lions would win,but they are very few in numbers.

  10. Tigers are basically active killers. They kill to hunt to survive.

    Lions are much more political. Alpha males need to be strong to certain degree just to stay alpha in his pride.

    In a fight, a tiger will own a lion

  11. Lions have killed hippos elephants giraffes as a group their are cases of lions killing tigers and each other and yes there was that one script in rhome where a tiger killed a lion and that was done on that day from the reporter it says nothing about tigers killing lions on a average meet. Im just guessing that you tiger fans havent read about that rhome script yet your telling me to read facts. Brockhard you do have some good points ,eg environment weight length not size and hunting habit,technique. That is true referring to africa. Also one more point the lions that fought in the arena was from ancient europe as lions habitat use to be far and wide. They adapt far more better than any other cat in the wild and only ended due to human influences. For example african lions hunt in prides of 15 to 20 where as asiatic lion prides are far more smaller that is due to habitat like africa there is not much cover the prey has large herds like buffalo elephants and rhinos with attitude problems and they will defend eachother large herds equals large carnivor groups. Asiatic lions are really different to their cousin they have a matriac female with a few females and they dont really interact with males only on mating the males actually hunt for themselves do you see the similarities between them and tigers but lions still pack up though like males 2 or 3 females 4 to 6 and cubs with a male. Ill do one on tiger soon put the facts then ill do my own conclusion and you do yours i will say this the lion is definetly the most successful well established and most adaptive out of the 2 what i mean by successful is they dont need any interference from human to bring them back they just need their habitat back the asiatic lions will bounce back

  12. I say a lion would win, cuz in a fight size don't matter. Plus a lion is more battle tested then a tiger. Its more contenders lions gotta go through.. also a male lion don't run in packs only the females run in packs. He just run the pack.

  13. I respect the lions hunting skills,team work and protecting their blood line by being a highly social cats but when it comes to one on one combat the tiger usually come out on top period.it is a provin fact since the roman times and present.tigers are more powerfull,bigger etc.theres no need for a debate.

  14. You clearly don't know what you are talking about. It has been proven time and time again that lions almost always beat lions during a fight. They are bigger, stronger, smarter and much faster. Get your facts straight before trying to mislead people.

  15. The tiger is more power physically, it's been proven, more agile, probably from hunting all the time alone, while the lion(male usually don't hunt, unless with exceptionally large preys) smarter (with a MUCH higher brain to rest of body ratio, and also overall size, remember tiger are larger), and while most of us seems to think instinctively that the lion's mane helps them in a fight, expert actually suggest that it hinders the lion and make them slower, and the mane is only useful for attracting mates, so you have one that is larger stronger smarter and also faster and more agile, it's not difficult to tell who wins, that and historically tiger generally wins, but regardless, even if a tiger wins hands down again a lion, that doesn't matter because lions moves in prides, and tiger alone, which is the real deciding factor in the fight, no one will think that if a tiger attack a pride which a tiger is too smart to do anyways, that the rest of the male lions and the females will just stand by and watch, so lion always wins against tiger, just never one on one

  16. One on one tiger wins hands down power speed agility smart, but lion isn't about going alone, they are the only big cats to live in large groups, and no fucking way a tiger no matter how exceptionally large, can take on a pride worth of lions

  17. Lions and tigers are both of the same genetic make up. They are cats…They are both pack hunters, they are both masculine, they both are noctuenal and hunt at night. I wish you would explain to me how creatures of similar characteristics would ever find themselves in a fight, or how one wouldbe clearly dominant over the other.

  18. lion vs. tiger. The tiger has a size advantage. But it is slight though an African lion is bigger than any other tiger, except for the Siberian Tiger.

    Siberian Tiger weighs about 500 to 700 pounds .

    African lion can weigh 500 to 660 pounds.

    Siberian Tigers usually weigh 10 to 60 pounds more than an African lion.

    This size advantage dose not make it that easy for the Tiger to beat up the lion.

    Male African lion spends there first 4 to 5 years learning how to fight.

    Male African lions are way braver than tigers they will usually accept a challenge, they usually wont run away.

    Anyway The lion will win 6 out of 10 times against Tiger.

    Tiger fans just to tell you all of these videos of tiger beating lions usually Happens in south or north Korea in zoos. Very curious about these things, sometimes I thing that these battles are planned by stupid tiger fans in north or south Korean zoo. This is just my opinion not saying it is right or wrong

    1. The male lion”s fighting experience is a myth. Sometimes when I argue against lion fans they say they hunt alone. Then you see they sleep 20 hours a day. The tiger has fighting experience against other tigers with territory too. And ask any expert that knows what he’s saying and he’ll favor the tiger.

  19. oh please… BCR just love tigers more than any other cat. almost all of their youtube videos that are about big cats, have tiger in their title. the tiger is afraid of MANY animals. guess why… because they try to avoid fights with anyone. and that thing about the lions mane gives protection. just think about it scientifically, dont you think that if something is covering something would protect it from whats coming from outside? and lions are social animals. that means that they comunicate with each other, they plan how to hunt down a large animal. social creatures ARE smarter than solitary animals. everyone has a brain that inshallah works. try to use it and not just listen and believe

    1. They run because of their solitary instincts of not wanting to get injured. And the mane doesn’t protect the lion as much as you think because it’s rarely targeted

  20. It is an obvious fact by now that tigers are superior to lions. Tigers are larger, more muscular, and stronger. Lions fight in packs so don't have to worry about one to one fighting giving the tiger an edge in fighting techniques. The tigers in these videos were young females who were caught in the moments they were fighting poorly. But anyway there are so few tigers and lion left we should not worry about tigers being superior to lions

  21. Adam Jeeves how u know that tigers 1730 times won against lion??? do u have any link that explain that?? sorry for my english… i ask for a link to read this information that u said abou lion and tiger..

  22. Hayena fwar wild dog fear.. Rhino fear.. The one and only tiger… When it gets hungry noone can stop it..
    It even killed a fully grown male eleplant… And tiger has much stamina than that lazy lion… But i respect both of them and i dont want to make them fight to kill just to know tje answer.. Peace

    1. Tigers are king of the jungle and lions are king of the African savana because lions does not live in jungle

  23. 'physically- lions mane better protection to the neck than tigers whiskers.'
    not true. The article above even says this is disputed.

    psychologically- wild tiger probably never fought another predator, lions fight to survive.'
    Again not true. Tigers often attack large dangerous animals like water buffalo, so obviously have evolved to tackle large animals and bring them down quickly to reduce the chance of injury.

    'mentally – lions warm climate gives them faster reflex and more intelligent'
    Again, not true. Lions and tigers are both warm blooded so reaction time isn't affected by temperature (unlike reptiles, for instance). Also tigers, despite having a smaller skull actually have a larger brain and is it often agreed that they are more intelligent. Being able to hunt alone instead of relying on others supports this.

    1. Mane to wiskers?
      I think you’d better consider the lions 1.5 inch claws to the tigers 4 inch claws… first.
      Next, would be their teeth.
      Lion has 1.5 inch teeth to the tigers 2.5 to 3 inch teeth.
      The tiger has the closest bite power to the hyena… and easily the most powerful of all big cats.
      All this combined with MORE AGILITY?
      pffft… that mane is a desperate attempt to stop the healthy tiger from killing your healthy lion.
      Tigers can carry prey into trees… they can jump & fight on their hind legs… more agile… PLUS… their specs beat the lions easily.
      I like the lions… they’re kings! No doubt!
      They still can’t beat the healthy tiger.

    2. The previous comment was meant for the same person you are replying to… sorry!
      We have the same argument against him/her.

  24. The mane is an attraction for females, the darker the mane, the more testosterone.

    A tiger also has a 16% larger brain than a lion, so they're more intelligent.

    1. The first fact I correct but tigers have bigger brains doesn’t mean they are intelligent,eg elephants have bigger brains but is not intelligent but the have incredible memory power, so tigers have big memory power but not intelligent than lions

  25. physically- lions mane better protection to the neck than tigers whiskers.
    psychologically- wild tiger probably never fought another predator, lions fight to survive.
    mentally – lions warm climate gives them faster reflex and more intelligent.

    1. The physical characteristics also differ between lions and tigers. Tigers are longer than lions, more muscular, and generally heavier in weight, although lions are taller than tigers. Tigers have stronger legs, and are much more active and agile when compared to lions. By nature, tigers are considered to be more aggressive than lions. Male lions are even thought to be lazy in a way, and will not do anything unless they really have to. Tigers are the more dominant big cat when lions and tigers are compared. Even in several cases where their genes have been mixed, the genes of the tiger have proven to be more prominent than the lion’s genes.

    1. Bro tigers are bigger and weigh more than lions then how the lion will win bro,and lions live in grasslands not jungle and tigers live in jungle so tigers are the king of jungle and lions are king of African grasslands

    1. Over 806 reports state that out 1902 fights in the Coloseum, the Tiger won 91% of them meaning it won 1730 while the Lion won a poor number of 172.

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