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17 Facts on Lion vs. Tiger

The Siberian Tiger
The Siberian Tiger

Let’s take a look at Lion vs Tiger. The two most powerful cats, the Tiger and the Lion – always have interested animal lovers and naturalists. Who is the king of the wilderness? Who will win against the other in a fight? Lets see below!

Similar questions have always been a favorite topic of discussion among many. These two big cats are on the spot due to their unique viciousness and grandeur, which has no comparison.

Tigers and lions are super exciting animals. A visit to a tiger or lion’s habitat is a daunting experience. Although the thrill can overwhelm many, people are keen to search for these animals on safari. Read more about the best places to see lions here.

While these big cats tend to swipe us off our feet in their presence, we all want to know who is the strongest. No matter what the statistics say, the exciting question will remain.

Moreover, do both of these live in the same jungle? If yes, who is the sole ruler? Is a lion afraid of the Tiger, or is it the other way around? We all have been intrigued by questions like these.

However, before we conclude, we must know more about these two dangerous animals. Here are the properties of each of them compared to the others, which will help you reach the final statement.

Comparing Lion vs. Tiger 

Male lion
Lion male in Masai Mara National Park. Image via Byrdyak, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Size6-10 ft6-12ft
Weight300-500 lbs250-600 lbs
Speed50 mph40-60 mph
Bite Power650 lbs950 lbs
IntelligenceHigh predatory powerHigh predatory power
Offensive PowersClaws, teethClaws, teeth
Predatory BehaviorSolitary, group huntingSolitary hunting
HabitatSavannas, grasslands, forestsForests, plains, deserts
Distribution CountriesAfrica, IndiaIndia, Russia, China, Southeast Asia

Physical Appearance

Tiger Safari

When talking about any animal, the first factor to discuss is how the animal looks. There are many subspecies of an animal. In the preceding discussion, the focus is always on the African Lion and the Panthera Tiger.

Tigers are typically orange or white, and the black or brown strips give them their uniqueness. Tigers also have wide spots of a darker color than their base skin. The Siberian Tiger has less prominent stripes, while the Panthera tiger has thick black lines.

Lions usually are one colored. They are golden, light brown, and yellow. Some subspecies can also be white. Male lions have manes once they grow a certain age and can also have reddish tinges.

The manes give them their identity and character. The hair is typically a different shade to the fur of their body and varies in size as per the lion’s age. Lion cubs are born with spots that fade out over time.

Physical Characteristic

indian lion

Tigers are usually longer than lions. The maximum length of a lion will be 10 ft, while the full size of a tiger is recorded to have passed 12 ft.

Similarly, tigers weigh more than lions. Female tigers weigh around 300 pounds, while female lions have reached up to 250 pounds.



Lions and tigers do not originate in the same region. Yes, some species may be found in the same area, but those are only a handful. The Middle East has the most significant overlap; however, due to human behavior, both are nearly extinct in that area.

Lions are found in Africa and India, while Tigers exist in India, Russia, China, and Southeast Asia. This geographic distribution is another property that will help you tell them apart.

In parts of Eurasia, tigers and lions lived together, resulting in mixed offspring.


lion botswana

Lions move in groups called pride. Prides have more female lions and only one or two male lions, and pride has around twenty lions who group to hunt where the female lion makes the attack. When lions are young, they hunt in miniature packs until they have found their group.

On the other hand, tigers hunt alone, and they do not move or stay in groups. The young Tiger may stick around with the mother for a while until it reaches age.

Lions and tigers are dangerous vicious beings who can be very aggressive. They have sharp claws with strength that can be highly volatile. Several zoos have kept a separate place for these two cats, away from the rest of the animals.

It has highlighted in studies that tigers attack around 1900 people every day. Lions often slay their prey in half without even feeding on them, such as hyenas.

Both of them have ways of showing their dominance. Tourist places showcasing tigers or lions always have a team of people who constantly monitor them to manage any uncertain behavior. An important fact for Lion vs Tiger.

Also check out: Crocodile vs Shoebill.

Food Intake


Lions and tigers are carnivorous and grow on pounds of meat. Female lions need around 10-11 pounds of meat daily, while males thrive on an average of 15 pounds. Since female lions hunt and arrange food, they provide it for the sick members of the group, called pride.

The male lions are free to take whatever portion of food they want. The common animals that are preyed upon include impala, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hyenas, and wild dogs.

Conversely, tigers can hunt alone; they do not need a group. Their target is mostly large animals such as deer, wild pigs, and buffalo. Tigers are also found to attack and kill bears, leopards, and in some cases, other tigers too.

Life Span on Lion vs Tiger

lioness drinking water
Lioness at a watering hole. Image by Birger Strahl via Unsplash

Lions can live up to 18 years in the wild. However, it has been noted that lions in captivity with the proper care have lived up to 24 years.

The same case is with tigers. Tigers have been recorded to live more than 25 years in captivity with proper monitoring. In the wild, tigers live around 10-11 years.


indian tiger babies lying in sand

Tigers and lions may want to dominate the jungle, but their paths have crossed. Indeed, both of these do not socialize with any other animal, but in some ranges, they have coexisted.

Lions and tigers can reproduce. Their offspring have been studied and are given separate terms due to their different abilities.


Image of a liger on nature background. Wild Animals. Image by yod67 via

The name liger itself highlights its biological parents. A liger is born when a male lion mates with a female tiger. When a female lion and male tiger mate, they give birth to a tigon.

The liger grows more significant than the parent tiger and lion and is specified as the enormous feline creature in the wild. Ligers are also social beings like lions and are fond of swimming.

It is important to note that ligers and tigon are only found in captivity. These species do not overlap in the wilderness, so the chances of a crossbreed are basically non-existent.

Tiger vs. Lion: What Distinguishes Them From the Other?

tiger cub
Tiger cub. Image via Depositphotos

Both these beasts have peculiar features that make them eligible to be the jungle king. Several strengths are captivated within a tiger, and as far as the lion is concerned, the force and its energy have no comparison.

Here are the following strengths of each animal.


male lion serengeti park

A lion has many distinguishable features, making it a strong animal in the wild.

Physical Traits

Two lion cubs lie in long grass. Image by nicholas_dale via Depositphotos

Although a lion and a tiger have almost the same height, the lions stand broad, and the shoulders are tighter, with additional strength in the paws. When kept in captivity, lions grow more robust and more in height than tigers.

The Lion’s Mane

The lion’s Mane gives a robust appearance and protects against attack towards the throat and neck. The mane of a lion is a big differentiation between Lion vs Tiger.


The attitude of a lion is dominating, which means when they move around in pride, their attitude is firm, which shows authority to the rest of the animals. It is also noted that in a fight, lions always happen to attack first.

Like any other animal, lions stay committed to the attack and do not step back and fight till the end.


Physical Traits

tiger in the wild

Tigers are indeed taller than lions, and they also outweigh lions by approximately 100 pounds. In fact, adult male tigers can reach up to twice the weight of adult male lions.

Tigers possess robust hind legs, which grant them the ability to stand on their own while employing their front paws for attacks. This agility provides them with a tactical advantage in both offense and defense. Furthermore, tigers boast massive forelimbs and sharp teeth, enhancing their overall attack capabilities.

It’s worth noting that, when comparing a male Siberian tiger to an African lion, the latter tends to be larger in size.


Tiger cub
Sumatran tiger and cub (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Image via Depositphotos

Unlike lions, where the female does all the hunting, and they move around in groups, tigers are socially solid beings who move around by themselves. They do not need anyone’s company and can hunt alone.

Tigers are active and always running around, keeping themselves busy. 

So you may wonder, who is more robust, a tiger or a lion?

No matter how much we try to sway away from this question, the curious mind will make us return to it.

The two biggest cats among its species often get hit by the famous question, who will win in a fight? 

Thankfully, both of them do not live in the same range. While tigers live in Asia, lions are more dominant throughout Africa.

Both are strong animals who feed on other animals. Due to their superiority, they do not allow any other species to come close to their family and do not mingle with the rest of the animals in the jungle.

A recent incident reported from the Ankara Zoo stated that a Tiger entered a lion’s confined space. Both of them got indulged in a brutal fight that lasted several hours. It was later reported that the Tiger slays the lion giving the lion severe injuries and resulting in death.

Moreover, in the New York Bronx Zoo, a tiger and a lion caught each other in a brutal fight. The fight was wild. Eventually, the rider ripped open the lion’s back. In captive situations, tigers have had the upper hand.

Male tigers weigh more and are also longer. The physical strength can be determined by the weight and posture of an animal. In this case, the scenario is dominant towards the Tiger.

How to Respond in a Lion or Tiger Encounter?

best safari to see big 5 lion

As much as we talk about how wild these big cats are, it’s essential to know the steps to help you during an attack or an encounter. The thrill of seeing a tiger or a lion has no match.

Safaris all around the world get massive audiences due to the closeness one can have with the wildlife. Animals are curious creatures, and their reaction toward you and your vehicle cannot be wholly predicted. Therefore, one must always be equipped with how a lion and tiger encounter must be dealt with.

Give Minimum Reaction

The first and the most vital thing for you is to give minimum attention to the lion. Remember, when charged by a lion, do not panic. The animal will panic if you do. Being frightened is understandable when a lion is a few feet away from you. However, holding your ground is very important.

If the lion growls at you or even advances towards you, it will make you scream for help but staying calm is a vital thing that helps you tackle this situation.

Avoid Running

Standing your ground is very important. Note that to end this situation, you are required to take charge of the scene. Show some dominance so that the lion knows you are a threat. You can do this by shouting and clapping your hands to appear bigger and stronger than the Tiger.

Slowly Step Back

In several cases, if you see a lion or a tiger advance toward you, it may be because it has sensed you as a threat to its cubs. In this situation, you must slowly step back so the animal knows you are not causing harm.

Take small steps back. Keep an eye around to make sure the lion’s group is not coming to join it as they move around in pride. Also, make sure not to trip over a rock, as the sudden movement might cause the lion to get aggressive. Take small crisp steps to avoid any dangerous attack by the animal.

Make sure you step back face-front towards the Tiger. Do not show the animal your back. If the Tiger catches you running, it will run faster toward you. Find an open place. Going towards a forest is not ideal, as the forest is the Tiger’s home.

Be Vocal About the Situation

Beautiful Mighty Lion
Beautiful Mighty Lion. Image by yulia-zl18 via Depositphotos

While you are retreating and have witnessed the lion slowing its pace, you need to shout for assistance at the top of your lungs. Lift your hand, call and take small steps back.

While you do this, the animal will know that you are dominant and will not advance toward an attack. When you see the animal turn around and leave you behind, start running to a safe spot.

In A Nutshell: Lion vs. Tiger

lion vs tiger

Lions and Tigers are the most vicious wild cats. They have been widely discussed among animal lovers and have been closely studied. Lions and tigers lift a zoo as visitors pay the most interest and attention to them due to their fierce looks and behavior.

Animal lovers always debate about which one of them is the stronger one. As much as it is tough to pick out a winner, the question remains. The Tiger has more vital physical traits, powerful claws and stands taller than a lion. Moreover, the weight of a tiger is also more than that of an adult lion.

On the other hand, a lion has a strong mane which gives it additional character and it helps it appear more substantial. The fact that lions hunt and stay in a group makes them dominant in the jungle.

Thank you for reading Lion vs Tiger!

Also have a look at Lion vs Gorilla or T-Rex vs. Allosaurus.

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