Can Lions And Tigers Swim? 🦁 🐯

Thou cats have always been known to avoid water – but tigers are often found in wetlands and actively swim across waterways and rivers. Lions not so much.

Thou cats have always been known to avoid water – but tigers are often found in wetlands and actively swim across waterways and rivers. Lions not so much.

Why Do Tigers Swim?

Tiger Going for a Swim

Tigers (Panthera tigris) are solitary hunters – and their prey is often solitary too, or in smaller groups. This means that the tigers need to travel further each day to find suitable prey. Tigers also inhabit forested areas and these habitats are often criss-crossed with streams, rivers, and – across Asia – mangroves and estuaries.

Needless to say, if tigers can’t swim efficiently and with confidence – they won’t be able to wander very far looking for food. All the tigers would then have to gather at pinch points to keep on land thus reducing home range and increasing conflict with both man and other tigers. Therefore, being able to swim great distances sometimes is a huge advantage.

Some tigers have been recorded swimming nearly 30km (18miles) in one day. They are known to be able to cross rivers of 7km (4.3miles) with ease across their territory to follow prey and avoid other tigers. They are more likely to be seen just bathing in the shallows to cool off in the heat of the day though, rather than epic watery journeys.

Why Don’t Lions Swim?

Lions (Panthera leo) can swim just as well as a tiger – but they really don’t want to or often need to. Lions dwell in the savanna – the open grasslands of Africa mainly – and have no cause to swim.

3 Lions Swimming Cross a River

They hunt large game roaming about in herds – and need the element of surprise in their hunting technique to complete a successful hunt. Once they spot their target they start a chase and gain ground on the animal before leaping on its back to weigh it down. If there is deep water anywhere near their hunt it can ruin the chase – or – catch the prey off guard and make it more vulnerable as it struggles to stay upright.

In fact, this is one of the only reasons when a lion – or the whole pride – will swim across a river or large lake – and that is when their prey heads that way first. (like in the video) Quite often, a pride will stay close by to a herd of wandering herbivores, such as buffalo or zebra, following them loosely until they are hungry enough for their next meal. So, if the only food for miles crosses a river – then the lions have to follow.

Do Lions And Tigers Eat Fish?

In the wild it would be very unlikely that a lion would eat fish – even if it was really hungry. Mainly because lions are the top predators in their habitat, so even a weak lion on their own or one that is mildly injured is still able to steal a meal off of almost every other animal they come across without having to resort to going fishing.

However, tigers love being in the water – so it is very likely that they can, and do, catch fish who happen to get in their way when they are hungry. Tiger can go for around 2 weeks without food though, so they wouldn’t want to waste any energy chasing fish if they didn’t need to. It would be far better when hungry, to go find something bigger like their usual deer for dinner.

In captivity, lions and tigers will eat almost anything fed to them – including fish – however, there are videos online of tigers getting very annoyed by nosey fish in their built-in lakes and ponds. Captive animals don’t have the same knowledge or habits as their wild counterparts, so although we can learn so much about them by observation, the two lifestyles can’t be compared.

Will A Crocodile Eat A Lion Or Tiger?

Yes, they will – and they do. Crocodiles can get massive and will try to eat anything that comes close to or actually enters the water. That is what they are designed to do – and they do it very well.

They are more likely to eat ungulates such as gnu and zebra – but a tiger or lion will do – especially if it is alone, very young, or in deep water. Healthy adult lions swimming across a river can easily be grabbed by a big croc if they chose the wrong spot for a dip.

Yes Tigers can swim. Tigers are often found in wetlands and actively swim across waterways and rivers Some tigers have been recorded swimming nearly 30km (18miles) in one day.

Also, Remember to Read Our Other Articles On Lions