Tigers are ferocious cats, known even to be more dangerous than lions.
As the biggest living cat in the world, the safest place to encounter a tiger is behind bars or at a safe distance.
If you ever encounter a tiger without any form of protection, then you’re in danger.
This is why you need to know how to survive a tiger attack in the wild to escape such an experience alive, especially if you’re outdoorsy.
Surviving a tiger attack isn’t easy, but possible. As with many wild animals, you should remain calm as that would increase your chances of surviving.
A running tiger can easily overtake you. While calm, there are other steps you can take to survive. Better still, avoid meeting one.
Read on to learn how to deal with tigers and ways to prevent an encounter with them.
Tigers: An Overview
The tiger is a member of the Felidae family and the genus Panthera, in which we also find the lion and the jaguar.
An endangered species, the tiger’s population is restricted to Asia, living in places like China, Eastern Russia, and North Korea.
It dwells in forest habitats, examples of which are tropical forests and deciduous ones.
Tigers are top predators, often going after big prey like ungulates (deer, moose…), wild boars, and water buffalo.
Occasionally, they’ll also go after smaller animals like monkeys.
They’ve had many conflicts with humans, and we’re a major cause of their endangered status.
They also hardly hesitate to prey on a human.
Why Are Tigers Dangerous?
There are many wild feline animals, but none is as feared as the titled king of the jungle.
Even lions are considered weaker compared to tigers. Here are some reasons tigers are effective killing machines:
Size and Speed
Being the biggest living wild feline in the world, tigers can intimidate their prey with their sizes alone.
Their weight goes up to 600 pounds, and while there’s a noticeable size difference between genders, even the females are big.
One might assume the tiger would be slow because of its size, but on the contrary, the tiger is fast.
While it may not be as fast as some other felines, it can easily outrun a human.
Another reason the tiger is considered very dangerous is its bite force. It has a bite force of 1050 psi, which far surpasses the lion’s 650 psi.
When a tiger grabs a small prey, that’s usually the end for the small animal. While the tiger’s bite force is not the strongest, it is powerful.
Tigers are ferocious and get aggressive with ease, especially when they feel threatened.
By contrast, lions are more lethargic, especially male, when it isn’t hunting.
The tiger’s aggressiveness makes it not a creature to be toyed with. It’ll go on the offensive without thinking twice.
Finally, the tiger is both strong and agile. Except during mating season, the tiger hunts solitary and can take down big prey using its strength.
Other felines, like lions and jaguars, are also agile, but they can’t be compared to tigers.
How to Survive a Tiger Attack – 5 Effective Tips
We reiterate that if you find yourself close to a tiger with no protection or a guide to defend you, then you are in great danger.
Below are five effective tips for surviving a tiger attack:
1. Stay calm
While it seems wiser to run at high speed when you see a tiger, it is not a good idea.
As we’ve pointed out, tigers are fast and would grab you with ease. If you don’t want to become its next prey, remain calm.
Back away step by step while facing the tiger, but do not look into its eyes. When you’re out of its view, walk away quickly.
2. Make yourself look bigger
Tigers may sometimes see humans as small prey, so you need to make yourself look bigger to create the impression of being stronger.
If you were sitting or crouching when the tiger approached, stand straight. This would make you look less frail.
3. Make loud noises
Tigers get distracted by loud noises, and this can be used to repel an attacking individual.
The easiest way to do this is to scream. For your scream to deter the tiger, it has to be bold.
Tigers can pick up on fear and leverage on that. If you have a firearm, shoot it to drive the tiger away.
You can also use metals, glasses, or a signal flare as noise.
4. Rather than flee, get the tiger to flee.
Your goal in surviving a tiger attack is to get it to run away because you have a lower chance of surviving if you do the running.
If the tiger attacks, do whatever you can to survive. This might mean injuring the attacking animal, but ensure it goes away without fatally injuring you.
5. Look for signs
A tiger that sees you might either attack or lose interest, and there are signs to know which option it’ll take.
A tiger gearing for an attack will growl, snarl, and take a leaping pose.
Related: How To Survive A Lion Attack
How to Avoid Encountering a Tiger
Surviving a tiger attack is possible, but the odds are stacked against the human in this encounter.
Given its size, speed, and aggressiveness, the tiger will outpower any human.
The best thing to do is learn how to avoid these animals. Here are some methods:
1. Do not approach any tiger, even if it’s old or ailing. If you come across an injured tiger on a safari or in the wild, get the attention of the appropriate authority.
2. Avoid tiger cubs, too, regardless of how cute they may be. The mother may be around, and she’ll be very aggressive.
3. Do not throw objects at an unsuspecting tiger (or any animal, for that matter), and neither should you try to be aggressive without cause. It’ll respond likewise.
4. Travel in groups and with a guide. The guide will be able to show you what path to take, and traveling in a group makes the tiger less interested.
5. If you see a tiger before it notices you, slip away as silently as you can. You can let it make first moves so your movement won’t catch its attention.
Related: How To Survive A Cougar Attack
Other Things to Know
- Tigers don’t seem to like the taste of humans, so some have theorized that sometimes they attack humans out of mistaken identity or encroaching on territory.
- Tigers are very territorial and mark their territory with urine. Be careful when you notice these marks in your tracks.
- Tigers are more likely to attack you if you’re crouched or alone.
Tigers are highly dangerous, and it isn’t a mistake that we call them the king of the jungle.1
While surviving an encounter with this creature is possible, it is very hard.
Your best bet when going into a tiger-infested territory is to avoid an encounter with one at all costs.
References & Notes
- Tiger attack. Wikipedia.