Tiger versus buffalo fight

Tigers do kill animals that are considerably larger than themselves. However, there are records of tigers killed by gaur and water buffalo after a massive struggle from both.

Tiger attacks gaurs

Tiger attacks gaurs. Photo unattributed.

W.R. Foran in his book of 1933 “Kill or be killed’ writes about a fight between a tiger and a water buffalo cow.

She bowled him over like a ninepin, and then rammed him against the thick trunk of a large tamarisk tree.

The tiger was gored by the water buffalo again and again. Then:

She lifted that mangled, crushed body on her great horns, gave a sharp twist of her head, and threw the big jungle cat, as if it were a wisp of straw.

Foran clearly delighted in describing the crushing death of a beautiful tiger. But the tiger had met their match. Tigers will attempt to kill very large prey but often at great risk to their lives. Water buffalo and gaur can be formidable fighters.

Video – intense – tiger versus buffalo – tiger wins

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There are no statistics of how often the tiger wins or loses in fights with adult gaur or water buffalo, which is perhaps what people want to know. I’d expect the tiger to win more often than to lose against these large prey animals because of the tiger’s legendary strength and killing prowess. However, in a low but noticeable percentage of encounters the tiger will lose and lose their life or be badly injured which will lead to a slow death. It is conceivable that both could die in such a fight to the death.


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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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