Wild Footage: This Enormous Lion and Huge Tiger Just Can’t Stop Battling Each Other

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: February 3, 2023
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These two male big cats just can’t let it go. Their prolonged confrontation was filmed at Xi’An zoo in China. So, what is going on between these two and why have they taken such a disliking to each other?

Lion Confrontation With a Leopard

We join the footage as the confrontation is underway in an enclosure. Through the fencing, we get a glimpse of a male lion and a male tiger in a wresting match. They are both breathing heavily and growling and grunting. This seems a bit too serious to be a play fight. The two animals are swiping at each other with their powerful paws and standing on their hind legs. In between the bouts of physical conflict, they pace around looking at each other warily. The lion seems to be the aggressor and the tiger seems to be merely defending himself.

Male lion looks directly into camera

Lions are territorial and will protect their pride at great costs.

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In a second round of fighting, two lionesses and what looks like a female or young tiger are watching but do not get involved. In yet another fight, the action has spilled over onto a road in the wildlife park and the two animals are rolling on the ground and growling. In further footage, the lion is leaping and pouncing at the tiger who must be getting pretty fed up of this by now! He flops onto the ground as if to say, ‘I’ve had enough!’

A little later on, even the lion is having a rest. But all the tiger has to do is walk behind him to kick it all off again! You can’t help but feel a bit sorry for the tiger but he does seem to be able to give as good as he gets!

What Is Winding This Lion Up?

The video notes reveal a little more about what is going on here. It appears that the lion and tiger are the same age. They were raised together as cubs and for some time the tiger was larger because tigers grow quicker than lions. Now, however, the lion weighs around 60 pounds and is heavier than the tiger. The lion is very muscular but has deformed hind legs. Lions and tigers can get on very well in captivity but something has happened here.

The confrontation has arisen because there are female lions around and they are in season. The male lion wants to preserve the mating rights to these females and mistakenly sees the tiger as a threat. Female lions are in season for up to a week so hopefully things calmed down soon!

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Watch a Black Widow Fight a Scorpion to the Death

The photo featured at the top of this post is © 2021 Photography/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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