16 Accounts Of Lions & Tigers Fighting Throughout History.

For centuries, humans have pitted lions against other lions and tigers as well as literally against human beings. As you move through history, circuses were common places in Europe and the United States. The treatment of wild cats was cruel and eventually ended In general, humans have not been kind to other animals.

Mosaic Tiling in the House of Faun in Pompeii showed a fight between a lion and a tiger. That said, history has shown that lions and tigers have been put together and have been very harmonious and peaceful. But every so often conflict arises, let us take a look at some battles between lions or tigers.

Historical Accounts

Emperor Titus owned Bengals and pitted them against lions and the Bengals almost always won.

It was reported in 1808 by Sylvanus Urban that a friend claimed to have seen a fight between a lion and tiger in a circus held in Verona. Sylvanus Urban was the author of many books including The Gentleman’s Magazine, so is a credible witness. But unfortunately, no verdict was given.

In 1830, a tiger attacked a lion in Turin, Rome. Although the tiger attacked first, the lion was able to hold the tiger on his back holding him by the throat. The tiger eventually died.

In 1838, British officer, Clark lived in Sierra Leone and witnessed many battles between lions and tigers, and the tiger always won.

Gunga In 1859, Harper’s Weekly reported a 10-minute fight in London. The tiger named Gunga, who was originally owned by the King of Oude, killed almost 30 lions after arriving in England. In turn, it forced the keepers to kill him due to attacks on themselves. Once again, humans cause these battles and then kill the winner of the fight. A London newspaper talked about the incident and said the lion “was a very fine lion, 6 or 7 years old”. Other reports said the lion had been held captive for 3 straight years.

Another newspaper said Gunga was also called Nina Shahib had initially attacked its keeper but the keeper was able to use a crowbar to injure the tiger by blinding him in one eye. That means the tiger fought a blind lion and won!

Both cats were constantly fighting even though the keepers tried to separate them. Toward the end of one fight, the tiger was on his back by blows from the lion. Using his back legs he tore open the lion’s stomach. The lion died shortly thereafter and Nina Shahib was injured. The tiger managed to recover and became a huge attraction at many events.

In 1882, a fight broke out in a menagerie and the tiger sank his fangs into the lion’s throat, killing him.

The Gettysburg Compiler and The Baltimore Sun reported that toward the end of the 19th century in India, Gaekwad of Baroda arranged a fight in an amphitheater between a Bengal tiger from the Indian region of Shimla and a Barbary lion known as Atlas from the Atlas Mountains. The fight was witnessed by thousands of people. The tiger was 10-feet long (3.0 meters) and more than 4-feet (120 centimeters) at the shoulders. He was considered very agile with long teeth and claws.

During the fight, both cats were injured. Even though the tiger would retreat from time to time, it would come back for more. In the end, the tiger managed to claw the lion (Atlas) to death. The lion did manage to push the tiger off with one final blow before dying.

Again, thanks to man’s inability to have these animals safely secured, In 1909 on Coney Island, a performing lion attacked a chained tiger by leaping through the air and landing on his back. Even though the tiger was hampered by a neck chain, he was a match for the lion and mangled it to death.

In 1911, an account of a lion killing a tiger was mentioned by Bostock, but no further details were given.

In May of 1914 at the Bronx’s Zoo, the barrier between the cages had come open. Rajah an eight-year-old Bengal and Huerta a Nubian lion around 2 or 3 years of age who had been sick for a while, had a face-off. In the first couple of minutes, Huerta seemed to be winning but when it went for the opponent’s neck, Rajah went for the nape. Rajah managed to bite Huerta’s nape and also broke his back, killing him almost instantly.

In 1934, an African lion killed a Bengal tiger shortly after the circus animals were unloaded from the train which took place before the keepers could separate them.

In 1938 in Chicago, 20 lions and tigers were put together for a circus act, a fight broke out that lasted for 10 minutes. There seemed to be no fatalities as the tigers got out using escape doors.

1949, the South Perth Zoo witnessed a 3-minute fight in which the lion killed the tiger. The lion got the tiger by the throat and dragged him through the opening and killed him before the keepers could arrive.

In 1978 and according to Kailash Sankhala, an Indian prince staged and filmed a fight in his palace’s compound. The fight ended with the Lion killing the tiger.

In 2010, a Bengal tiger at Ankara Zoo, escaped through a gap between his cage and the lions and killed it with a single blow. The tiger severed the lion’s jugular leaving the animal dying in a pool of blood.

In 1855, Herne said that in the Indian jungle near the village of Elaw, that he and his party heard a tiger roar. Pursuing it, they saw a tiger attack a local. The tiger disappeared with the victim for approximately 150-feet (50 yards). Then they heard the roar of a lion and sounds that alerted them that there was a fight with the tiger.

They battled through bushes and although the tiger was approximately the same size as the lion, he was more agile.. The lion was stronger and able to protect his head due to his mane. The lion caught the tiger’s throat, turned him on his back, and killed him. It was then that the lion was historically named “King of the Jungle”.

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