If you ask 10 people on the street what Tigers eat, I bet they all would answer by saying “meat”. But how many of them would be able to tell you what kind of meat they are really eating. Do you know what they really eat?
The question “what do Tigers eat” often get confused with “what do Lions eat”. This leads people to believe that Tigers are hiding in the savannah and leaping out to catch Gazelles and Zebras as they near the watering hole. That is as far from the truth as you can get when you look at the real answer.
Tigers are jungle cats that live deep in the jungle canopy and not in the desert. They live in area where water is plentiful and cover is easy to come by. They lurk in the shadows just waiting for something to cross their path unexpectantly.
They are carnivores like Lions, meaning they do eat primarily meat. They will catch just about any animal they can that lives on the jungle floor. When times are rough, they have been known to eat fish, berries, and roots in order to keep themselves fed.
Tigers eat whatever animals they can find while lurking through the jungle. The most common sources of food for most Tiers are wild pigs. They provide plenty of meat and are slow, so they are easy to catch. This makes up more than half of a Tigers diet in most locations.
Another common lunch is the commonly found Sun Bear. This is a smaller bear that is very easy to find and catch in the jungle. They are very noisy and typically hang out in wide open spaces, making them easy to spot.
If they cannot get their hands on either of these, they often eat baby elephants, low flying birds, fish, and any weak animals that separate from the herd. If they can catch is and kill it, then they will eat it. That classifies just about every animal species as potential Tiger food because of their incredible hunting ability.
The Perfect Hunter
Tigers are one of the best built hunters on the planet. One would argue that they are the best if you remove weapons and tools from the equation. They have everything that you could dream of in the ultimate killing machine.
A tiger can jump 30 feet across the jungle floor with a single step take-off. This allows them to jump on top of most animals before they have the chance to escape. Unless they are already running at full speed in an obstacle course, the Tiger has the upper hand.
If something does get away, they have the speed to catch up very quickly. Reaching speeds of up to 40MPH, there are not many jungle animals that are going to be able to outrun them.
Being cats, they also have the immense agility that one would expect them to have. This allows them to dodge trees, stumps, and everything else that you might run into in the jungle. The Tigers have a huge advantage as long as the chase stays on the ground.
If the prey tries to escape into the water, Tigers will still give chase. Tigers are great swimmers and can catch almost any land animal before they can get away. Not to mention the 30 leap they have on you when you first jump into the water.
The only real way to escape from a Tiger is to get high into the trees. They are not great climbers because they are so heavy.