A gathering with friends who love animals can result in many entertaining conversations. When my buddies and I talk about animals and their strengths, it usually ends with potential fights between different species.
And this article is one of those – animals that can kill a tiger.
However, before we start, I want to stress that the question of what animals are capable of defeating the world’s biggest cat is not a straightforward task.
Some of the mentioned animals below do not even live in the same habitats as tigers. As such, fight outcomes are based on predictions.
Nonetheless, it is interesting to know which animals could defeat a tiger if given a window of chance.
10 Animals That Can Kill a Tiger
There are almost 9 million animal species on the planet, and amongst them, only a handful of animals are capable of defeating tigers in a one-on-one fight.
- Water Buffalos
- Saltwater Crocodiles
- brown bears
- Polar Bears
Tigers are ferocious animals, and besides humans, they are the elephant’s only predators. Yet, despite being rather peaceful creatures, elephants can be just as lethal.
Elephants are the largest living and, at the same time, some of the strongest mammals on land – they can stand a chance to win a fight any day in a brawl against a tiger.
An average adult elephant weighs about 8,000 – 15,000 lbs and is 9 – 10 feet tall, whereas a tiger weighs at most 700 lbs and is 2 ft 7in – 3 ft 7 in. Elephant trunks alone have about 40,000 muscles!
The largest land animal can lift, smash, kick and bury any tiger in a landslide. It has all it takes to take down a tiger in a fight to the death; however, tigers being the king of disguise that they are, their record remains untainted.
But if elephants wake up tomorrow and decide to decamp to the carnivores’ tent, it’s over for the tigers!
Traditionally, water buffalos are bred to be a farmer’s best friend; they plow their fields and are milked for their highly nutritious milk. But the same cannot be said for their brothers in the wild.
Water buffalos are members of the bovine family, which automatically makes them a delicacy for all cats, especially tigers.
Tigers bold enough to take on water buffalo are always in for the fight of their lives since taking down these temperamental and aggressive is far from an easy task.
Hunting water buffalos down would be even more challenging if they were in a herd. A tiger can be dead meat if its target sees it coming.
From a distance, they’d charge at a speed of no less than 30 mph, ramming head-first into the enemy. But if in close range, the buffalo play the game of scoop and overturn with their devil-shaped horns.
The tiger might be minced meat in a ring where the playing field is leveled.
If tigers are the kings of stealth on land, saltwater crocodiles are the gods of surprise attacks in the water.
Crocodiles are reptiles that spend most of their waking hours either swimming or submerging in water. They are good swimmers as well as excellent hunters.
A tiger carelessly swimming in their territory without a plan might end up as dinner to the ruler of the water habitats.
Crocodiles have deadly bite forces (3,700 PSI) that contribute to subduing their victims. After securing the target, a crocodile will perform a dance move called “death rolls” to drown its prey.
However, in the real sense, the chances of a crocodile taking down a fully-grown tiger are slim.
Without their stealth game, a tiger would hardly win a fight against an adult male or even a female brown bear.
Both tigers and brown bears are found in the forests of Asia. Once in a while, their paths are expected to cross. When this happens, there is usually a clash to mark or protect territory.
The most common way a tiger win against a female or a full-grown male brown bear is through an ambush. However, even then, outcomes can go either way.
Tigers are wired to successfully hunt down prey, while brown bears are built to fight, bully, and intimidate.
A head-on encounter between a tiger and an adult male brown bear may finish with a single pound and swat.
Gaurs are the largest and, by far, the strongest bovine. These herbivore beasts can weigh up to 3,300 lbs. Even more impressive is the fact that practically all that mass is composed of pure muscles.
Gaurs look like they spend most of their day lifting weights and doing press-ups, you can already tell at one glance that they are more than capable of killing a tiger.
As a result, tigers rarely hunt gaurs because of their size and deadly horns. Gaurs are as courageous and bold as they are intimidating and sturdy.
Although not many animals can defeat a tiger in a scheduled battle, I’d still put my bet on the gaur. It is believed that there were more cases of tigers being killed or seriously injured by gaurs than the other way around.
So far, our arguments have had more maybes than for-sures, but one of the most worthy opponents, polar bears, are certainly the type of animals that can kill a tiger.
Polar bears are the largest extant carnivores on the planet, known for their exceptional hunting abilities and sheer strength. They are the rulers of the Arctic region with no natural predators.
Related: How Dangerous are Polar Bears?
Polar bears, just like tigers, are stealth hunters. They both depend on the element of surprise to successfully bring down prey.
What sets the Polar bear apart from the tiger and would give it the upper hand in a fight against the big cat are its stamina and incredible size.
A tiger’s success in a hunt depends on the first burst of power and attack. Once that first attempt fails, the chances of the tiger getting the kill are slim.
A Polar bear, on the other hand, can go as many rounds.
Disregarding the props they have for horns, rhinos are one of the most formidable opponents in the wild, even for the mighty tiger.
Rhinoceros are the second largest mammals on land after elephants. Their size and amour-like skin are enough to make their only predators, tigers, rethink their choice of meal for dinner.
Rhinos are generally peaceful herbivores, but when they are threatened, they can be the most aggressive and dangerous.
A stubborn tiger that persists even after its target, the rhino, sniffs him out will be in for a beating. A rhino can run as fast as 55 km/h.
Let us assume the tiger is static or charging toward the pumped animal. After a collision, the tiger would be a bundle of fractured bones. A final stomping could be the end of the daring tiger.
Of course, this list of animals that can kill a tiger would not be complete without mentioning the most competent animal suited for the job – the lion.
A tiger is an apex predator and the king of his jungle; the same goes for the lion in his savanna. Lions are apex predators without worrying about being hunted by other creatures.
Tigers are solitary animals with no uncles or fathers to defend themselves from, but years of abandonment and finding their place have taught the lions to be brave.
Lions do not understand how to back down; this is why a tiger is possibly in for the longest and deadliest fight they have ever fought.
Both cats are large, but lions are slightly taller, while tigers are heavier. A lion has a shield of mane around its neck, whereas a tiger has a stronger bite force. Built for hunting and mauling other creatures, neither of the cats lacks killing skills.
A clash between the tiger versus the lion is likely to go in the tiger’s favor, but on a good day, you bet a lion can take down a tiger.
Hippos do not roam the same plains as tigers nor exist on the same continent, but rest assured, if they did, the tiger would avoid them like the plague.
Either way, here is what would likely happen in a potential fight between a hippo vs. a tiger:
Hippos are like walking life barrels with an armory. An adult hippo weighs up to 4,000 lbs, can run as fast as 30 km/hr and 8 km/hr in water, opens its mouth as wide as 180 degrees, and, to top it all off, they have tough skin.
Imagine this war machine charging the tiger’s miserly 700 lbs – gone too soon.
The only way a tiger could get a hippo is by its usual stealth; it goes for the jugular veins by jumping on its back.
But even with that, victory is not certain for the tiger. Even the kings of the jungles need at least three sets of paws to bring down a hippo, which they rarely ever hunt.
Kangaroos are famous for their powerful legs. So you know about their lethal leg kicks can generate about 850 PSI worth of force. Cool.
Giraffes? A whopping 2000 PSI!
That should tell you just what amount of trouble a tiger would be in for if they existed on the same continent and they wanted a giraffe for brunch.
Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world, with insanely long necks and legs. Their neck and leg length are the average runway model’s, at 6 feet.
A tiger must travel up a flight of legs and neck to deliver its deadly bite. For this to happen, the giraffe needs to be unsuspecting, or else the tiger would be finished in several swipes of the neck and a couple of stomps and kicks.
The list of animals that can kill a tiger is short.
Even those with the necessary skills to defeat a tiger wouldn’t always be able to do so because tigers pick their opponents carefully. The second reason is that some of these species do not live on the same continent as them. Three: Tigers are among the most cunning and powerful predators to have ever roamed the planet.
Thank you for reading. If you liked this article, here’s another popular read that you might find interesting: Strongest Tigers in the World.