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West of India (Bengal tiger country), did the Asiatic lion meet the Caspian tiger?

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#21 [url]

Mar 20 17 7:44 AM

Yeah that's something that it was just recently reported in Wiki, I really hadn't heard that.  I thought is was hopeful as well, I ran into this article showing that they are trying to introduce the Caspian tiger back into the wild on the river Delta in Kazakhastan,

I hope this is true, because I thought I ran into some conflicting reports whether they're able to continue with this. I think they could do it if they really wanted to. They could probably also transport some Asiatic lions into parts of northern Africa as well. I think it would be interesting to ask the people who claim they saw the tigers recently, to get them to specify what color the cat was, could they make out an orange color or maybe some stripes, because the leopards should be a lot paler and lighter in the colder whether at higher altitudes I think. It would be pretty hard to miss a large orange cat.

When you say Asiatic lion, I know that counts for the general species of that area, but wouldn't you say though that lions in Iran and Turkey which had been there for so many years would at least be a separate sub-species than the Asiatic lion in India?  It would be interesting to research this some more now, I would think there would be some information of the Caspian and lion living together, and possible conflicts maybe recorded in ancient writings.

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#22 [url]

Mar 20 17 9:10 PM

I don't see any genetic proof of the Asiatic lion being divided into different subspecies, genetically speaking, just as Amur and Caspian tigers were shown to be closely related, it would appear that the Barbary lion of Northern Africa is closely related to the Senegal lion (also called the "West African lion") (Panthera leo senegalensis) of Western and Central African lion, and together, they are more closely related to the Asiatic lion than to lions from Eastern and Southern Africa, to the extent that Senegal and Barbary lions were provisionally put together by the IUCN as "Panthera leo leo" (the scientific name for the Barbary lion). Apart from that, the Senegal lion is even physically similar to the Asiatic lion:

1) Senegal lions in Senegal and Gabon (,

​2) Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica, closely related to P. l. leo in Africa) in India ( 

3) Ethiopian lion (P. l. roosevelti), which was shown to be genetically different to other lions (

​4) Eastern African lions (P. l. azandica and P. l. massaica, or altogether, P. l. melanochaita, if they're grouped together) in Virunga and Masai Mara (,

5) Southern African lions (P. l. bleyenberghi and P. l. krugeri, or altogether, P. l. melanochaitus, if they're also grouped together) in Etosha and Kruger (,

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Apr 13 17 6:43 AM. Edited 9 times.

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#23 [url]

Mar 22 17 11:16 AM

So have you gotten this research from Wiki or is this a lot of your own findings, I noticed a lot of Wiki had similar information, did you contribute to Wiki's info on this topic?

I think is definitely for sure now with this updated info that both cats crossed paths in both India and the Middle east.  I actually had always suspected that was the case, I knew the Caspian was in Iran and many places there, but it seems clearer now.  When people say these cats are never share the same habitat its obviously not correct.

Do you have any info on conflicts between the Caspian and Asian lion.  I'd have to go through some of the research done on this, but right now off hand I can think of one instance in which an old professor cites conflicts of the Siberian and Asiatic lion.

Further information confirming this... research done at the University of California at Berkley, found that the Asiatic lion killed the Siberian tigers when they strayed into the lions territories.  The author is talking in the context of prehistoric fights at first, then he states the Siberian tiger wandering out of its territory into the Asiatic lion's.  Its difficult to determine what is the location of territory the tigers are meeting the lion.  I suppose its possible they could be northern Caspians like Siberians, or the Asiatic lions he's referring to could be Persian or near the Georgian area.

Professor: John Campbell Merriam

The Asiatic lion was known to kill the Siberian when it strayed into the lions territory.

Last Edited By: starfox Mar 22 17 11:24 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#24 [url]

Apr 13 17 8:43 AM

Yes, and I have been researching here and there, but I have not found direct evidence of conflict between the Asiatic lion and Caspian tiger, maybe old literature from Iran, the Middle East or Asia holds the key to that, especially those images from the Arabic or Persian book that I recently added to the first page. According to Khalaf-von Jaffa (, an Arab guy called 'Al-Jahez', who lived in the 8th and 9th centuries, wrote about animals in a book called "Kitab Al-Haywan", including Asiatic lions in Iraq and India, and that lions were friends with tigers, but I guess that we'll need to check what the original Arabic text ( says about them.

This image of lions (بيشه-هاي-بي-شير/) came up when I searched for Kitab Al-Haywan:

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Apr 13 17 10:07 AM. Edited 7 times.

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#25 [url]

Apr 18 17 11:18 AM

Well that's some great info either way, let me know if you find anything, I'll try to do some research to.  I'm sure like any animals sharing similar prey source there would be conflicts, I think people are of this mindset that somehow lions and tigers are just too different and can't have a conflict, they're both animals both will fight for their territory and food source like any other animal.  I do think though tigers would be less reluctant though to take on the lions, or even a lion, where as the lions would be looking for the fight as they patrol their territories much more and confront invaders all the time.  Tigers do not really patrol their territories and they often don't engage an invading tiger, at least that's what a lot of research showed Ive seen.  Again, though tigers like all cats are extremely fast twitch so they are totally capable of handling themselves.

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#26 [url]

Apr 19 17 12:57 AM

A user in this page (, when talking about the Caucasian country of Armenia, referenced this book ( to say that the lion mangled, in its lair, the tiger of the east, but can you properly access the book's contents? ​

Old images provided by Mehr News Agency (اعتراض-به-مستند-بی-بی-سی-نگذاریم-کشورهای-دیگر-شیر-ایرانی-را

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Apr 19 17 2:06 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#27 [url]

Apr 19 17 12:51 PM

I just clicked on the link it goes to the google books its accessible, it appears to be a poem referencing the lion mangling the tiger. 

Here is possibly something,

Ancient Persia writings held by the British king, translated by English writer, showing lion defeating tiger in the forest. Possibly a Caspian tiger.

The Anvár-i Suhailí; or, The lights of Canopus
lion kills several tigers
When the tiger was seized by the lions claw, Death, it talks about the tumult blood spilling lion overcoming the other beast and pushing the tiger out of the territory.

Some of the most legit accounts Ive found are actually ancient India writings saying the lion killed the tiger, not a symbolic reference either.  And some research I did on Barbary lions hunters said they haunted mountain slopes, and at night came down to the farmers to raid the livestock. 

~A Comprehensive History of India: The Mauryas & Satavahanas, 325 B.C.-300 A.D Orient Longmans, 1957 


"References to the lion in the Padirruppattu, one to the dread of other animals in mountain slopes haunted by lions, and the other to the lion killing the tiger. 

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#28 [url]

Apr 20 17 4:01 AM

That passage in Anvár-i Suhailí is a story about the environment around Basrah, which is in Iraq, so that would be talking about the Asiatic lion and Caspian tiger, but from what I see in Wikipedia, it's a story inspired by the book that has the 2 images I posted earlier from Mehr News Agency, that is Kelileh o Dimneh, which is derived from the Indian Panchatantra. As for what you mentioned about Indian accounts of lions killing (Bengal) tigers, well, we also have the Mahabharata (, which says that one guy told another that tigers were fiercer and more ruthless than lions, so one should be careful about what different guys said, because, if we can have pro-lion and pro-tiger literature today, from different guys, then imagine what it would have been like in the past. For instance, here's a story about the Caspian tiger (which is called Babr-e Mazandaran (ببر مازندران) in Persian) terrorising that village, and it doesn't mention the lion, even though the latter (called 'Shir' (شير) in Persian) was also prominent in Persian culture:


Last Edited By: Ligerrules Apr 20 17 4:32 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#29 [url]

Apr 21 17 12:20 AM

In referring to the Mahabharatag story, that is not talking about a sole tiger killing a lion in the forest or mountain slopes.  Its discussing the differences in opinion of a human being able to capture and subdue the cats comparably.  I would think that it would be true that the tiger would be harder to subdue and capture, and would also be more high strung and hyper aggressive in those situation demonstrating greater agility and speed being difficult to contain compared to a lion.  Those Indian writings are ancient, and they aren't symbolic, it has to mean something.  I think the tiger is more exciteable as all cats are, the lion is more bold and aggressive in a fighting sense yet calmer.  There are other clear ancient writings as well from Chinese Emperors who got lions as gifts, housed them with tigers and leopards and were astonished the lion could subdue as they called it the most feared of beast the man eating tiger.  This was translated by historians, the emperors really said this, the lion made the tiger submit when housed together.  So many modern day trainers have seen the same exact thing.   They'll be legends of the tiger for sure, terrorizing villages, feats of strength and agility, this stuff is happening today, but I have not seen many instances historically of tigers beating lions in fights, it seems to be the other way around.  But prove me wrong if you want.

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#30 [url]

Apr 22 17 2:31 AM

I have seen records of tigers beating lions in captivity, but anyways, we're talking about wild fights or meetings between Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers here. I searched using the Persian words for 'Lion' and 'Tiger', that is 'Shir' (شير) and 'Babr' (ببر), respectively, such as in (بازسازي-ببر-منقرض-شده‌-مازندران-در-يك/) and (, and I don't see information on fights between Asiatic lions and Caspian tigers, but other information, like in this article (بيشه-هاي-بي-شير/), which has plenty of images and information relating to the 'Shir' ... 

 And a little on the 'Babr'. Though they put 'Shir' (شير) in this image's caption, rather than "Babr-i Mazandaran" (ببر مازندران), 'Shir' can also mean 'Tiger'.

Last Edited By: Ligerrules Apr 22 17 2:48 AM. Edited 4 times.

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#31 [url]

Apr 22 17 1:58 PM

Ive seen some accounts as well of tigers beating lions or killing them, but generally its not an adult full maned lion killed, most are lioness's young males, aged lions, or something else aided the tiger in the win.  You have to put the accounts in chronological order to avoid repeats and put in the full background info, many people backing the tiger leave out the full background info, and they do this because they don't want the specifics of the fight or the age or sex or health of the lion to be seen. If you have any accounts I'm missing just let me know, I'll add in them in the tiger kills lions list.

Ive seen some decent information historically in quite a few cultures China has some compelling info.  But it can be sometimes difficult just turning up info in word searches initially or in the other language using the google translate even, but sometimes its that odd book or some other account leads to something else and you've found some interesting stuff.

It is interesting some of the pics you're posting as its showing the people of Persia were quite familiar with the lions, they were definitely prevalent there and apart of their lives to say the least, there is quite a few references to lions in the bible also which is Israel and the surrounding countries, it seems in large numbers they were all over the middle east.  I'm sure the Caspian tigers were also in high numbers all these animals were just thriving more before the gun. I just wonder about the anatomy of the Persian lion or Barbary, I wonder did they differ in design compared to the African, because the African lion's terrain is possibly different, but it seems lions whatever species would rather inhabit more open places not the thick dense jungles that the tigers inhabit and are designed for.

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#33 [url]

May 3 17 9:38 PM

As for the Barbary lion, it was similar in appearance to the 'black-maned' Cape lion (which could be the same suspecies as the Kruger lion, for the same reason that Caspian and Amur tigers may be considered as one subspecies: they were genetically close): thick mane that extended down the belly:

Captive Cape lion in Paris (

Wild Barbary lion in Algeria ( 

Last Edited By: Ligerrules May 3 17 10:05 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#35 [url]

May 4 17 5:41 PM

That's a really nice pic of the Barbary lion, I had seen that pic before, but not that clear or that close in detail.  With the larger photo you can really see the full mane going all the way back on the body, I hadn't noticed it go that far back in the smaller pic that's pretty interesting.  I don't  know if there is any wild pic of a lion with the mane reaching that far back, only in captivity do we see some lions with that full mane that fits the body like a coat.  You can also see the lion's lower limb and wrist, which to me appears either more furry than South African lions or possibly thicker, not sure.

Great shot of the Cape lion too, wish we could see it better, but it appears to be darker in color than other lions, or is that just the black and white photo?  I also notice the Cape lion seems to have a wider muzzle or shorter but broader face.  Zoologist seem to think this was true, but I wonder how the Barbary's face differed from the Asiatic's because Ive heard the Barbary was suppose to have a broader skull as well but shorter in length. Ive personally seen a real lion with Barbary decent in it, it was officially tested with real traces in it. I used to live close to it, so I saw it on quite a few occasions. The lion had a reddish hue in its mane and the red unified into its whole body, as well the body coat fur was also a distinct darker tan, my guess is this is to match the forest surroundings instead of the light dusty open planes. 

Yeah its hard to know about how one culture has preference of a certain animal over the other depicted in art.  I suppose you're thinking of the hierarchy of the size and positions of the one compared to the other in its placement and composition.  It could be just the design of the rug or just what that artist wanted to focus on in the layout, but I agree that there does seem to be some spiritual belief or opinion as to the strength of some of these cats in different paintings as to the placements.  I know there is that  India piece that shows a clear hierarchy intent of all the animals with the lion on the top, so I suppose it could be the case with the rug, but in the rug there is two tigers, so it seems more as if they are used in a design sense, not a singular representation of one animal for the species position in the animal kingdom as the India piece was.  But hey who knows great piece though.

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#36 [url]

May 5 17 11:55 AM

Speaking of the Cape lion, have you seen this account of a big Cape lion killed.

Actual account of a hunter that killed a Cape lion in 1850s, this lion proves to be massive and powerfully built
like the Barbary.  It was compactly built, very strong limbs.  This same hunter stated he once killed a massive tiger that was longer and larger than any of the lions he had killed, so he's not favoring one over the other from a size perspective.


Also more interesting information showing the Persian lion lived along the Tigris river never Baghdad, and it also lived along the Euphrates river. 


The article also states that it is said that tigers avoid lions and desert areas of the jungle they inhabit.  A particular area mentioned where tigers were most affected was Kattywar, where they're are no tigers seen anymore.  This is clear statement by the author stating it is said, so that means natives of India are stating this, they've seen tiger flee lions, even the mere sighting of a lone roving lion tigers leave the area.

After the author states this, he then says it is supposed the lion avoids the tiger, and mentions a northern central district in which lions had appeared after tigers were shot.  The author then goes on to say that he thinks the Asiatic lion is too small and inferior to contend with the tiger in a fight.  So this is interesting, this seems more like his opinion, because we know not all Asiatic lions would be inferior to the tiger, as well he states it is supposed the lion avoids the tiger, not a definite. 

Yet previously he states
"Tigers are said to avoid the lions and desert those jungles in which any roving lion may make its appearance."  So the former is more decisive in its statement saying it is said instead of supposed.  Supposed is not as strong as said, which means we at least know, it is fact that people in India actually said tigers avoided lions, and deserted those jungles they inhabited.

Kattywar lion shot more bulky than tigers,

Article states no tigers are found in Kattywar, natives call the lions camel colored tigers.

Some more info on the places the Asiatic lion inhabited.

Indian lion was found all over the plain. It is said that Akbar used to shoot lions in the Yamuna and the Chambal ravines near Agra. With the increase in human population more often than the tiger because he was out in the open:

Emperor Firoze, across the country, from the Jumna, at Firozeabad, to Dehlee, for the purpose of supplying the cultivation of this part of the country with water. Fraser had received intelligence of both a lion and a tiger being in this jungle,

The hairs of the mane are 10 inches to a foot long in some Indian lions.... About 20 years ago lions were common near Mount Abu, several were shot near Gwalior, Goona, and Kola, and a few still exist-ed near Lalitpur, between Bangor and Jhansi. One is said to ' have been killed near Gaps»: in 1873. In 1864 one was killed near Sheorajpur, 25 miles west of Allahabad; and when the railway was being made from Allahabad to J ubbulpoor, in 1866, a fine lion, with a good mane, was shot by two of the engineers near the 80th milestone from AllahabadAbout 1830 lions were common near Ahmedabad. Several years previously, in the early part of the century, lions were found in Hurriana to the northward, and in Khandesh to the south, in many places in Rajputana (one was shot in 1810 within 40 miles of Kot Deji, in Sind), and eastward as far as Rewah and Palatnow. It is probable that this animal was formerly generally distributed in North-western and Central India‘. I have never heard of lions in Catch, and suspect J erdou was mistaken in supposing them to be found there.

The first lion I shot in the " Gheer " Forest, Kattywar, had mane eighteen inches long and tolerably full, .....

Mr. Blyth says, there was not much difference in the development of. the mane of those two lions ; but the Persian was a much paler animal than the other. According to Mr. Warwick, 0 pair were brought as a present to his

Last Edited By: starfox May 5 17 2:37 PM. Edited 4 times.

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#37 [url]

May 9 17 6:32 AM

Interesting. I'm a bit surprised by those accounts of Bengal tigers avoiding lions, rather than the 2 avoiding each other, like Pocock ( suspected, because we have reports of fights in the past, like this one (,7165143&hl=en), so even if the tiger didn't win, it would fight the lion.

Last Edited By: Ligerrules May 9 17 7:44 AM. Edited 4 times.

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#39 [url]

May 11 17 6:01 PM

Yes that's right, there was about 4 wild fights that we have, two are draws and two the lion kills the tiger.  And there is one more I know of, where the lion killed the tiger that might be true.  So in the five wild fights that we have, the tiger won none of them.  I honestly don't know why you wouldn't expect the tiger to leave, some tigers I'm sure will stay and fight, but I wouldn't expect most to, I just don't see the species being that bold to do that. Even if some did stay and fight, what if they lost most of the fights, and instead of dying the tigers ran, but they left wounded and survived, they wouldn't ever come back into the lions territory again. This could be why it was known from that source that the tigers deserted the areas where the lions came in to.  Even African lions vs each other many times will flee if they sense the other has a significant edge over them. 

But I guess the question is, would most tigers win, and the lions would have to leave, based on the accounts we have I don't see that, it looks like either a knock down drag out fight, or the lion kills the tiger.  I'd put my money on the lion as well out in the open, I think they possibly could run a tiger down to exhaustion, certainly an African lion could.  But I'm not all sure the differences between the Asiatic lions and African lions, not sure if the Asiatic's patrol their territory as much as African lions.  I found it interesting in that Pocock book, that Asiatic lions sagittal crest area of the skull is more developed than the African lion skulls, they seem to claim Asiatics skulls are very developed muscularly.  Also interesting, and I had heard that but didn't see this source, it states the lions lower jaw is more rounded and doesn't sit flat on the table compared to the tiger.  The lion may have the stronger lower jaw here, better for the pulling and tugging and fighting over the choice portions of meat growing up in the pride.

The other concern also is whether the lion would handle the tiger differently than it would an invading lion, being a complete separate species, the lion may have even a greater drive to take that species out and eliminate it from the competition as they are a threat to their prey source.  So with that theory, the lion may be even more willing to fight another tiger compared to another lion.  I cannot see the tiger as a species operating the same, nothing about their behavior suggest this, the circus acts are almost like a bigcat behavioral experiment, the lions had a distinct hatred for the tiger always wanting to fight them, many times the tigers avoided them and refrained from the fight.  And yes most all the trainers agree that mixed them, they actually saw the lion win most of the time in one on one fair fights.  Most trainers that back the tiger were not really mixed lion tiger trainers, and most all expressed a distinct admitted bias for the tiger.  Alex Kerr, Mabel Starks, Charly Bauman, Capt. Dutch Ricardo, all said they liked the tiger, most of them also said they didn't like lions.  You don't hear that from Beatty, who called lions devils and terrorist, he just admired their fighting ability over the years and willingness to fight. None of the other mixed cat trainers that backed the lion ever said a bad word about the tiger or disliked it, they also never said they like lions more.


Last Edited By: starfox May 11 17 6:18 PM. Edited 2 times.

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