Our team being obviously great supporters of the Lions (Panthera Leo for the purists), we could say that the lion is THE king and that no animal can hold a candle to him. However, this would be a lie because against popular belief the lion is not the most powerful animal. The criteria to define what is the “King of Animals” are quite subjective and the image of the lion is specific to each culture.
The symbol of the lion is very powerful, it is very probably the king of animals in terms of presence and symbolism. It takes the name of king of the animals for its crown-like mane, social family life, aggressiveness and reckless courage. However, he is not the king in terms of size, strength and intelligence to our dismay.
1) Physical Superiority of the Tiger
If one bases the king of animals on physical superiority, most people think the tiger is the big winner because it has all the qualities of a perfect predator.
- Colossal size
- Unmatched power and strength
- Flexible and easy to maneuver limbs
- Can Climb
- Knows how to swim
- Amazing senses of sight, smell and hearing
- A skilled and intelligent fighter
- Powerful jaws
- Claws and long teeth
- A great hunter
2) the King of the Jungle, a False Belief?
As we saw in the article on the lion’s habitat, the lion does not live in the forest (except in and around the Girnâr and Sasan Gir ranges, 3 other protected mixed savannah and tropical dry forest environments) or in the jungle (except in the Congolese jungle part of Central Africa). But once spread over the continent of Africa, Asia, South Asia, Europe, North and South America, the deciduous forests and savannahs contained 7 to 8 wild species of lions in prehistoric times. Today, it lives in the dry, hot and humid sub-Saharan savannah, in the open grasslands, the scrub of Africa and in the wildlife sanctuary.
In the West the lion is seen as the “King of the Jungle” because of his majestic appearance and his mane which gives him a more imposing appearance than reality (in evolution the mane developed to intimidate enemies, to attract the opposite sex but not for fighting. Protection has become an evolutionary advantage giving some protection in territorial fights). This large carnivore evolved about 1m20 during its adaptation with its head always high in order to watch its prey always in a process of natural selection and survival.
The definition of a human king does not really apply to animals because in the fight between a tiger and a lion, we all know that the lion would not fit the bill.
If the lion became the king in the West, it would be explained by the fact that the West did not know much about tigers in the past because they dominated mainly Africa and Asia. In addition, many channels prefer documentaries about lions rather than tigers. This may be due to the tigers’ natural dense forest habitat.
3) a Question of Culture
In Asia, almost the entire population does not know that the lion is called the “King of the Jungle” because in their culture and religion, the tiger is considered the king. This is clearly due to the symbol “王” on the tiger’s head which means “king” in Chinese. The largest feline weighing nearly 400 kg and its extinct ancestor the tiger Ngandong, is the largest cat to have lived in the world, weighing 450 to 500 kg more than the large saber-toothed cat Smilidon.
The tiger is very dangerous to humans due to its murderous behavior. Its beauty is a curse because trophy hunting is spread out for its meat, skin, bones and others which unfortunately leads them to their extinction. It is good to know that the horn of a rhinoceros and the tusks of an elephant are not worth as much as the skin of a tiger. This demonstrates the enormous impact within the Asian culture.
4) the History of the Territories
In antiquity, the first lions occupied Asia as far as the Indian subcontinent as a whole, including Sri Lanka and West Bengal. Following their extinction the Asian lions developed and colonized most of northern India as far as the Narmada River in the south, West Bengal in the west 25,000 to 20,000 years ago.
However, tigers arrived in India about 20,000 to 12,000 years ago after the Asiatic lions arrived. At that time, they coexisted, but the Royal Bengal Tigers dominated the lions and all of India and settled in arid regions like western India where small tiger populations lived only because they did not like to live in an arid climate preferring a more humid and wooded climate. As a result, they left the arid zones allowing lions to thrive in areas with low tiger densities.
In the days of British India, the British and kings hunted tigers, lions and other animals for pride, pleasure, royalty and trophies. In contrast to this, Jim Corbett was a great person who killed over 300 tigers and many leopards, but this was not done for pleasure, he was against hunting animals. Jim killed these animals because some old, wounded, or sick felines began to rely on easy prey such as humans as well as domesticated livestock, as hunting their natural prey became difficult. This leads to many consequences as these animals develop a taste for human flesh or meat and then become man-eaters.
At that time, the population and the government asked for help because it is difficult for the police and shoemakers to follow and kill these man-eaters due to increased cunning. This work requires a great deal of experience and is paid accordingly. Jim grew up in the forest and knew the area very well. He saved the people from the wild beast that ate the men wandering in the jungle for months with his double-barrel rifle and a notebook to write down his many experiences. He hunted and stalked these man-eaters including tigers and leopards.
However, he did not take money from the government or the people as a result of resolving such threats. He implemented many awareness programs to avoid killing animals that are not a threat to humans. He wrote his many experiences in his book on tigers.
5) the Tiger, One of the Greatest Predators
The Tiger shows many qualities in front of the lion, his agility, size, strength, endurance, power, intelligence, cunning nature, long and majestic eyes without fear, royalty, dominant behavior, heavy weight. He is 1m20 high as much as the lion, sometimes even more than the lion, he has the ability to stand perpendicularly on 2 legs with 2 legs equipped with 10 cm claws, his fangs / teeth are ultra effective, his camouflage is ideal. It is also among the top 20 of the world’s largest animal biting forces, measured in PSI.
In addition, its ferocity, aggressiveness, speed, hunting and fighting techniques are unequalled, its ability to swim long distances up to 40 km and good climbing skills even though they are unequalled in big cats or most other predators. The tiger is powerful enough to kill prey up to 5 to 10 times its weight.
The Tiger’s prey : From small rodents, birds, monkeys, fish to elephants, sometimes adults (when they are starving). But also all types of bears like black bears, polar bears, brown and lazy bears, crocodiles like maggar and saltwater crocodiles, wild boars, cattle like the water buffalo, the largest cattle Gaur, Rhinos, wild boar, leopards, leopard, striped hyena, Indian wolf, fox, jackal, turtle, snake like the python, ungulates like the deer and antelopes, to simplify, anything that moves.
Unlike other big cats, it kills or hunt away anything that moves in front of its eyes and does not become friendly even if it is not hungry. If a tiger wanders in the jungle, all animals are afraid. Animals like Hanuman Langoor, macaque, deer, American deer, peacock, spotted deer, birds etc., make distress calls/alerts to alert other animals. Even if an elephant catches or smells a tiger scent on its way nearby or when it hears a roar, it goes crazy and runs or changes direction to avoid a direct confrontation.
This technique is used by farmers to chase away crop-raiding elephants by playing tiger sounds with loudspeakers. It is a killing and fighting machine. Tigers, male or female, spent most of their time fighting for territories, searching for prey, hunting, roaming, marking territory and sleeping little time. Because they are solitary animals, they are not even naked if their own siblings or adult relatives enter their territory. They are not afraid of anything except when confronted by a pack of animals. It is the most anxious, intelligent, curious cat of all and an expert in most captive pen escapes with its astute and intelligent nature inventing new thoughts to escape from captive pens. He is an intrepid fighter and a determined hunter. Tigers participate in territorial fights more often than lions and in most cases one of them ends up dead, in the rest of the cases they intimidate and intimidate each other.
Group hunting is necessary for the weaker ones like the African lion subspecies to take on the biggest game in Africa where the Asian lion living in grasslands and tropical dry deciduous forests has adapted a different social structure. Such as smaller groups with only females and territorial males living apart except in the breeding season with less intensive hunting and more individual and solitary hunting, weak paternal care instincts and a submissive nature unlike other African hunters. The tiger never recovers carrion although it is opportunistic, except when it is sick, hungry, weak, wounded or old. They hunt, kill and eat fresh prey on their own and attack their game alone.
However, extremely rarely in groups of up to 3-4 individuals in cases such as the mother with her almost mature young and rare coalitions in some Indian, South African and Chinese nature reserves. Despite the size of its prey like the rhino and elephant, it hunts alone with its big legs, claws, stronger and denser bones and muscles, its high bite strength, canines which are the longest of the big cats, its large, long and enormous body, its coolness and its majestic and frightening roar, which gives it the status of the strongest predator on the planet, making it one of the largest of all the most fearsome animals.
6) Final result
We have seen that the lion is an emblem in the Western world and that its size, its presence, its mane gives it the status of a king. However, if we want to be as impartial as possible we are forced to note that the tiger wins the battle sure of our many points whether physically, by cunning or by his unfailing determination.