It may surprise you that there are actually quite a few animals that can kill an adult tiger. Note that many of these animals kill tigers in self-defense, but some prey on tigers in specific circumstances. I will try to give the reference source for most of the animals, and I hope this answer will help you. Some of these animals may be a surprise! Enjoy!
1. Indian Crested Porcupine (There is graphic content of a tiger’s heart pierced by a porcupine quill. You have been warned.)
“Oh hello mister tiger! Do you want a hug? I’m sure I would give it to you.
It is obvious that porcupines have a powerful defensive weapon, their quills. These spiky bumps can cause terrible injuries and unfortunately for them, most animals don’t know how to remove them. I will always remember the time I almost ran over a porcupine while mountain biking. It would have been very painful to get rid of those spikes!
As for porcupines killing Bengal tigers, here are some incidents.
- Tiger killed in porcupine attack
- Did the cow kill the tiger? This tiger was found with spikes that had pierced his heart and killed him…
- Tiger injured in fight with porcupine found dead – Times of India
As you can see if the porcupine lands a good hit with its quills, the tiger can end up dead. Sometimes these incidents make you wonder why the tiger even hunts these sharp demons!
2 water buffalo
“My mother makes me feel like an American. Every time I leave, she calls me “bison.” (Bye son sounds like bison, bison in English).
It is no secret that water buffalo are aggressive beasts that will not hesitate to charge at anything they perceive as a threat. Bengal tigers prefer to ambush them as they can be a danger when engaged in head-on conflict. When the ambush goes wrong, let’s just say things don’t usually go in the tiger’s favor.
This graphic shows that a buffalo killed a tiger in a study to determine how humans influence tigers. It may not seem significant, but it was the only prey animal to kill a tiger during this study. I think that says a lot about buffalo as a truly deadly prey animal.
Here are some cases of water buffalo killing tigers
- The Telegraph – Tigress killed by buffalo
- Royal Bengal tiger carcass found in Kaziranga National Park – Times of India
3 Usuri Brown Bears
“Son, do you see that tiger growling over there? I’ll use that as an example and show you how to bear hug.”
It’s easy to see why grizzly bears might kill tigers due to their size, strength, and power. In Russia, Ussuri brown bears and Siberian tigers come into conflict and the tigers even hunt bears which make up 1.4% of their diet. Big bears can also take on tigers and try to steal their food.
During the telemetry investigation in the Sikhote-Alin protected area, 44 direct confrontations between the two predators were observed, in which bears were killed in 22 cases and tigers in 12 cases. This shows that if a bear feels threatened, it will not hesitate to defend itself.
Here are some cases of bears killing tigers:
Note that the bear not only killed the cubs but also the tigress. Tigers are pretty daring animals to take on these guys. That is sure!
[Notices of a bear hunting a young 3-year-old tiger and eating it, and of another instance where a bear raids a tigress’s den and kills her and her 2-year-old cubs.]
“I’m a brawny fighting machine!”
The gaur is like the water buffalo, but I find it even scarier. They have huge muscles and are known to be quite aggressive towards their attackers. Naturally, when these guys come into conflict with the tigers, the tiger doesn’t always come out on top.
Here are some incidents where tigers were killed by gaures.
The old great tigress of NNTR dies in a fight with Gaur
[The report talks about how the tigress was found dead. Gaures are known to huddle defensively, protecting their calves in the center of a circle, just as buffalo do in Africa. In this type of grouping they can move forward and attack their predator.]
5 Saltwater Crocodile
“Because you can’t get any closer.”
Tigers love to swim and do you know which animal loves to swim the most? You guessed it, crocodiles! Crocodiles are the dominant predators in the water and once they catch a tiger, the cat is pretty much doomed.
The five meter Bengali crocodile claims the title of king of the jungle to the tiger
Take a look at this incident where a crocodile killed a male tiger swimming across the river. That’s why I’m glad there are no crocodiles in Canada, so I can safely go swimming.
In this next case, the tigress and the crocodile fought all night with the crocodile finally winning the battle.
Crocodile kills tiger after night duel – Times of India
The tiger may be the king of the Indian jungle, but the crocodile is the king of the Indian waters.
6 Indian Rhinoceros
” If you try again, tiger lord, you’ll feel what it’s like to have this horn up your ass!”
Indian rhinos are huge and will not hesitate to injure an attacking tiger. The tigers have quickly learned that hunting these animals is too dangerous and they only prey on them as a last resort and even then they will only go after young, injured and sick animals.
This conflict shows that the tiger should not be underestimated when he has to fight for his life. In the ensuing fight, both the rhino and the tiger were killed! A royal Bengal tiger and a rhino were found dead in Kaziranga
Sorry I couldn’t find any more sources of rhinos killing tigers, but like I said, they don’t clash much. Even with the lack of evidence, it’s easy to see that Indian rhinos could kill tigers.
7 Asian Elephant
“Time to kick some butt!”
I think this animal needs no explanation. Being much bigger than the tiger, having a powerful trunk and being a male with fangs comes with some advantages. Elephants have almost no predators as adults, but on the rare occasion that a tiger fights a youngster they get quite a fright.
There are hardly any cases of elephants killing tigers for a reason. The tiger is too scared to attack him. Even so, I was able to find a case of a tiger dying at the hands – tusks! – of an elephant.
[A tiger was mauled to death by an elephant during a 1998 flood in Kaziranga, India]
“If you come near, I will eat you. Like this deer.”
Boars are actually quite dangerous and will kill attackers by viciously biting them. Tigers are no exception and are killed by these animals on some occasions.
Here is a case of a boar gutting a tiger to death.
“You better not even dare!”
Siberian moose and tigers live together and have a predator-prey relationship. Although it is quite unlikely, I think it would be possible for the moose to get rid of a tiger. After all, they have been known to kill bears on occasion. Still, the ability to kill tigers of this type is a bit speculative as not enough research has been done on the interactions between the two animals.
10. Honorable mentions
Some honorable mentions include venomous snakes like cobras, and of course smaller predators like leopards, wolves, and dholes that prey on younger tigers if given the chance. Finally, tigers are often killed by other tigers.
“I lead a very hard life!”
As you can see, tigers have to plan their attacks carefully or risk being killed by extremely powerful prey. They are also at risk of being attacked by other predators such as bears and crocodiles. In general, like most animals, tigers have difficult lives despite being predators.