Watch This Hungry Tiger Turn Into a Mid-Air Ninja and Snag Food From a Tree

Siberian tiger with its tongue out
© Thorsten Spoerlein/

Written by Angie Menjivar

Updated: October 20, 2023

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Although tigers usually hunt by stalking their prey, when a free meal is placed on a tree for them to retrieve, they get creative. In this video, you watch as a tiger spots a meal and considers the best way to snatch it. After some contemplation, it displays its awe-inspiring agility (despite its large size!).

Don’t Miss the Climbing Skills of This Big Cat

Watch this tiger get creative before grabbing a free meal!

Are Tigers Good Climbers?

tiger climbed the trunk of the meat in zoo

While they rarely do it, tigers are excellent tree climbers!


Tigers can climb if needed, but they usually cease this behavior when they grow into adulthood. As cubs, they’re playful and explorative, climbing up trees with their sharp claws keeping them steady. Since they’re apex predators, they don’t need to run up trees to save themselves.

Most of the time, it’s other animals seeking refuge in trees trying to get away from predators. Tigers can certainly climb up trees when needed — they are agile and strong. However, they grow so large as adults that it gets cumbersome trying to get up high into a tree.

Other big cats can also climb trees, but leopards would win if it were a tree-climbing competition. These cats spend a lot of time on trees naturally unlike tigers that don’t typically hang out in trees. Although leopards may curl up for a nap on top of a tree, a tiger does not consider a tree a place to rest.

What Type of Hunters Are Tigers?

Portrait of a little tiger cub lies dormant sleeping on the wooden floor. Shallow depth of field

Tigers hunt and ambush their prey.

©Iryna Kalamurza/

Tigers hunt by ambushing their prey. They’re sneaky and stalk their prey, remaining mostly unseen. They use their acute sense of smell to determine the best place to hunt and slowly approach their prey until they reach a close enough distance to strike.

Just before they move forward, they keep completely still. Then, they strike and make their kill. In the video below, a large tiger walks around in a lush, green environment. Unlike it would in a natural environment, it does not need to stalk its prey to have a meal.

Humans have secured a piece of meat to a branch off a tree. They’ve placed it up high enough, so the tiger has to climb to reach it. The tiger slowly walks just under the piece of dangling meat, then walks around to the other side of the tree, where it begins to climb.

It seems to change its mind about climbing and returns to reassess the height of the meat. It realizes climbing from the trunk is not necessary and it jumps up, grabs a hold of the branch with its two front paws, and uses its back two paws to secure itself against the tree’s trunk. It successfully grabs the raw meat and jumps off, which is a scene you get to enjoy in slow motion.

Is it Normal for Tigers to Climb?

Tigers are excellent tree climbers and cubs learn this skill at a young age.

©Ksenia Krylova / Creative Commons – Original

Tigers are known for their size and strength and although it may not seem typical for them to climb, just like the typical cat, they are actually quite skilled at it. This behavior is usually more common in younger cats and cubs, although adults are excellent climbers as well and trees are a great location for them to eat, sleep, and raise their young cubs.

Not only do tigers have powerful legs that enable them to leap 15 feet and large paws equipped with sharp claws that allow them to grip items, like tree branches, better. It is believed that trees are an integral part of their lives, used for escaping predators, ambushing prey, and viewing their surroundings.

How Large Are Adult Tigers?

An adult tiger stands on a rock against the backdrop of the evening winter landscape

Jaipur, a

Siberian tiger

, is on record as being the largest tiger on record.

©Volodymyr Burdiak/

Tigers are the largest species of big cats in the world. The largest are the Bengal and Siberian subspecies, a tiger whose average weight can range between 220 to 600 pounds and whose average lengths can be anywhere from 6 to 10 feet from nose to tail. Males are larger than the females, averaging sizes on the higher of the range. The largest cat on record belongs to a Siberian tiger who came in at an impressive 932 pounds and stood 10 feet, 11 inches tall.

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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