Which beast would win in a tournament of mortal combat: the king of the jungle, a ferocious striped feline, or a godless marauding killing machine (aka bear)? In other words, who is the ultimate carnivore? In the spirit of the recent NCAA basketball tournament, let’s find out.
First up: Lion versus tiger. While some say it could go either way, a closer look reveals that it’s actually the tiger. Indeed, 1960 cage fights between lions and Siberian tigers revealed that the lion usually won. But once cruel promoters starting using Bengal tigers, the most aggressive wild feline, it was all tiger. Lions didn’t stand a chance. What’s more, tigers are usually larger and carry a bigger stick (ahem, their ginormous fangs).
Next up: Lion versus bear. 19 century Californians staged well-documented animal fights, including those between lions and bears. The result: while lions would bravely charge at grizzlies, bears would smack them to their death using giant paws as a 200 pound club. In fairness, lions weigh a lot less than bears, but so do tigers. Let’s see who’s champion in the winners bracket…
The final: Tiger versus bear. A recent simulated fight by the Discovery Channel favored the bear in a victory, saying the tiger couldn’t penetrate a bear’s hide. But Discovery used the more docile Siberian brand of tiger, not the degenerate creature of darkness that is the Bengal tiger. And in-the-wild research suggests the tiger wins after rare confrontations. For example, Russian scientists have reputedly documented accounts of wounded bears whose hides had been penetrated by the lesser Siberian tiger fangs. And tigers have been known to kill crocodiles (who have thicker hides than bears) and even adult bears in the wild, given their controlled, raptor-speed attack. So who are you gonna believe: a simulated fight or actual ones?
Overall winner: The Bengal tiger. Plus, they just look a whole lot cooler than the other two.