The tiger’s strength is legendary. There are many stories about this cat’s awesome ability to move a carcass that is several times heavier than itself.
The authors (Mel and Fiona Sunquist) of Wild Cats of the World refer to some incredible examples of the tiger’s strength. One account comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma). A tiger dragged away a gaur bull weighing 770 kg (1,697 lbs). Thirteen men were unable to move the carcass of this large animal a single yard!
There are other records of tigers dragging and carrying large kills over great distances. For example, one tiger was reported to have carried a full-grown horse for 500 meters. Another tiger carried an adult heifer up a 12 foot high embankment.
Tigers usually like to take their kills to dense cover. The well-known hunter turned conservationist, Jim Corbett, provides us with a detailed description of a tiger with his kill and the strength demonstrated in moving the animal.
“Yesterday the tiger had covered up his kill at the spot where he had done his killing, but today it appeared to be his intention to remove his kill to as distant a place as possible from the scene of the killing.
For two miles or more I followed the drag up the steep face of the densely wooded hill to where the tiger, when he had conveyed his heavy burden to within a few hundred yards of the crest, had got one of the cow’s hind legs fixed between two oak saplings.
With a mighty jerk uphill, the tiger tore the leg off a little below the hock, and leaving that fixed between the saplings went on with his kill.
The crest of the hill at the point where the tiger arrived with his kill was flat and overgrown with oak saplings a foot or two feet in girth. Under these trees, where there were no bushes or cover of any kind, the tiger left his kill without making any attempt to cover it up.”
As for killing prey, in Nagarahole National Park, the average weight of 83 tiger kills was 401 kilograms (884 pounds). The sample included several gaur weighing 1000 kilograms. Large prey is killed by suffocation through a bite to the animal’s throat.
Another example of the tiger’s strength is its swimming ability. There are records of tigers periodically visiting islands in the Sunda Strait despite the strong tidal current of about 4 Km/h. By my calculation the islands are about 4 km from the mainland.
As for climbing ability, tigers have been observed to climb smooth bark trees to a height of 10 meters.
The tiger’s jumping ability is well developed. They can jump up to 10 meters in length. This exceeds the human world record for the long jump.
As for being attacked by other animals, a tiger was observed to have killed 12 wild dogs out of a pack of 22 with many others badly injured before the dogs overcame the tiger.
In general the Siberian tiger is stronger than the Bengal tiger as it is larger.
Finally it is said that the tiger wins in a lion versus tiger fight but that is another topic and argument!
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