Hippo vs Tiger | Who Would Win in a Fight?

The hippopotamus is the most dangerous animal in Africa. On the other hand, the tiger is the most skillful killer of Asiatic jungles. Who would have won if there was a fight of hippo vs tiger?

The fight between hippo and tiger would be imaginary because both animals live on different continents. They would not cross each other’s paths in the wild ever.

However, if we could imagine the fight depending on the size, aggression, attacking ability, fight terrain, and many other factors, we would say that a hippo would win in most cases. The tiger also has a chance of winning if three to four of them could attack the hippo at once.

hippo vs tiger

Hippo vs Tiger – Comparison Chart

Comparing topicHippoTiger
Scientific classificationHippopotamus amphibiusPanthera tigris
SizeAn adult hippopotamus can be 11 feet long and about 5.5 feet tall.Tigers can be 6 to 10 feet long. Their whole body is full of muscles.
WeightAdult male hippos can weigh up to 3300 pounds. Whereas the females can weigh up to 2800 pounds.Adult tigers can weigh up to 500 to 650 pounds
DietHippopotamus are herbivores.

However, they can be carnivorous or even cannibalistic though incidents like these can be sporadic.
Tigers are mainly carnivores. Meat is their primary source of food.

However, they eat vegetation and fruits at times.
SpeedAdult hippo has a top speed of 30 kilometers per hour (19 miles per hour).The tiger can run up to 35 to 40 miles per hour (about 50 to 65 kilometers per hour).
Bite force2000 pounds per square inch.1050 pounds per square inch.
HabitatHippopotamus are native to Africa. The African rivers and canals are filled with hippos. They choose their habitat near the water.Tigers are 100% Asian. Their habitats are very diverse, and they can adapt to any environment. They need ample bush and water around them.
PopulationAbout 130,000 hippopotamuses are living in the wild.About 3900 wild tigers are alive today.
LifespanThe lifespan of hippos is about 40 to 50 years in the wild.The lifespan of tigers is about 8 to 10 years in the wild.

Physical Comparison

hippo is roaming on the field

Hippopotamuses are giant creatures. While they might seem like an overgrown cow with cute little eyes and ears, they are not so polite. Their size is so big that no carnivore dares to attack them willingly. Unless a hippo is cornered or badly injured, it has no natural predators.

The hippopotami can often outgrow small private cars. Their length is about 11 to 14 feet, and their width is about 4 to 5.5 feet. Most adult hippopotamuses are 5 to 6 feet tall (from toe to shoulder).

Moreover, adult male hippos can weigh up to 3300 pounds, and females can weigh up to 2800 pounds. They are like a tank on land and a submarine in the water. Hippos also have a massive mouth that can open up for about 180 degrees.

Such a mouth can fit in any kind of tiger’s head or body. Again the jaw power is so fearful that it can penetrate the tiger’s body or crush its skull without much effort.

A tiger lounging

The royal Bengal tiger is the biggest cat on the planet. However, compared to hippos, they are relatively tiny.

Adult male tigers weigh up to 220 to 310 kilograms. Males can be 9.5 feet long. Their whole body is full of flesh-eating muscle. These muscles make them incredibly agile and enormously strong.

The tigresses are a little smaller than their male counterparts and can weigh up to 140 to 170 kilograms. Their length is 8 feet.

Tigers have longer back legs. This allows them to jump incredible distances (up to 10 meters).

Strength Comparison

The hippopotamus is a vast animal. It has both speed and weight. Most importantly, they are crazy aggressive. Hippos are so aggressive that they can kill 500 people per year. This number is even more than shark attacks per year.

Hippopotamuses can run up to 30 to 40 kilometers per hour. If such a giant as a hippo is running at the tiger at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour, the only thing the tiger should do is flee from the spot. One single blow can leave the tiger with a broken neck.

Hippos don’t think before attacking. It is their stupidity that makes them even more deadly. They’d run into a tiger’s territory without a second thought and could catch the tiger off guard at any moment.

hippo yawn

Moreover, the hippo has a bite strength of 2000 pounds per square inch (about 13000 k Pa). Their massive jaw can open up to 180 degrees wide, which means it can fit in a tiger’s head without any effort. And with the bite force like a monster, it can crush the tiger skull like watermelons.

The royal Bengal tiger is the most glorious killer in the Asiatic jungles. Still, they are not as deadly as the hot-headed hippopotamuses. The tiger is rather sly and clever enough not to cross paths with humans. They live deeper in the jungle and rarely come out in public. Still, tigers attack and kill more than 100 people annually in India.

tiger yawn

Tigers have a bite force of 1050 psi (7M Pa). This predator is no joke and wastes no time while attacking the prey. Tiger is the most efficient big cat in killing its prey. It would go straight for the throat. With a monstrous bite force, it would penetrate the prey’s veins.

The prey would immediately start bleeding, and the tiger would keep its oral grasp on the injured neck of the prey. A life-fighting time later, the prey would fight no more, and the tiger would smile a champion’s smile. Besides, their tongue is specially made for eating meat. One lick with a tiger’s tongue is enough to draw the prey’s flesh.

Though tigers are smaller and less aggressive than hippos, they are undoubtedly smarter. Their wit is one of the things that can bring them victory over a thick-witted hippopotamus.

Tiger vs Hippo Fight: Who Would Win?

Comparing topicHippoTiger
Attack skillHippos attack by charging, biting, or stomping the enemy.Tigers attack by biting and slashing the meat of the enemy.
DefenseHippos get in the herd with other hippos for defense. Sometimes, they would go deeper into the water to escape predators.The fur of the tiger acts as a camouflage in the deeper jungle.
WeaponThe hippopotamus has enormous tusks. These canines can grow up to 20 inches.The tiger has sharp teeth, a powerful jaw, huge nails, and powerful paws.
WeaknessToo much time on the land can burn their skin and thus make them sick and weak.Aging is a terrifying weakness for a tiger.

Hippopotamus are the heavyweight champions of Africa. In contrast, tigers are the most ferocious and the biggest hunters in the Asian jungles. But what if hippos and tigers were to clash in a fight? Who would have won the monstrous battle of tiger vs hippo?

Hippopotamus are incredibly massive. They are also terribly agile. Both of these traits make them the most deadly creature on land. Their huge tusks are one of the greatest weapons.

Hippos like to display their teeth to their opponent by doing a yawning posture. It would have done the same for a tiger. The tiger and the hippo would cross each other’s path only in one case that is near the water.

The tiger is too clever to go near the hippo or even come out of the deeper jungle. It would only have to encounter a hippo when it was thirsty and badly needed a drink.

The hippo would’ve seen the tiger from a distance approaching the waters. Immediately the giant would yawn and display its huge tusks to alarm the predator. The tiger would have seen the signal, but the big cat is not easy to be intimidated.

The clever tiger would have used its fur and gotten within the ample vegetation, and with the help of its camouflage, it would have tried to advance the drinking water.

Nevertheless, they would have encountered each other face to face anyway. Then the first attack would have undoubtedly come from the thick-witted hippopotamus. It would have surprised the tiger by suddenly charging at it like a bullet mountain. The startled tiger’s first thought would be to dodge the attack.

If it were to be successful, then the tiger would get up immediately and go for the neck of the herbivore. However, the size of the neck of the hippo is not the same as the usual grass-eating animals. Hence, the tiger could have easily missed the neck and given the hippo another chance to attack.

The hippo then would open its frightening jaw and try and crush the tiger skull like a watermelon. The 20-inch-long ivories of the hippo would seem like immediate death in the eyes of the tiger from such close range. This attack could either be the final attack or the start of a new fight.

If the tiger could dodge the giant hippo’s oral grasp, it could go again for a seize to the eyes or throat of the hippo with its sharp claws. Then the hippo would have been badly injured.

An injured hippo can either be the ultimate deadly or a retreating fleet. It would have run to its herd deep into the water or blown the tiger away with its enormous tank-like body and stomped the tiger to death.

Either way, the result would not have been very fruitful for the tiger. Hence, the winning probability of a tiger in a tiger vs hippo fight is nearly zero.

The smartest thing a tiger could do is not to go to the canal where hippos are infested. It could instead have a thirst-quenching drink from somewhere else deeper in the jungle, at least 6 to 7 kilometers away from the hippo lands.

Besides, an old tiger is the most miserable being in the wild. The once glorious hunter roams without food in the wild miserably in his old age. Aging is the greatest weakness of a tiger. It slows them down. And a slow tiger is no tiger at all. An aged tiger would generally avoid harassment at any cost and would never attack a hippo under any circumstances.

The hippo’s main weakness is staying on the land for too long. Though their skin is hard as iron, it starts to burn if they don’t keep it soaked for a handful of hours daily. Otherwise, the skin would burn and make the hippo sick.

Hence, a tiger could win in such a situation if it could attack an ill or injured hippopotamus. Besides, the opportunistic tiger can take down a hippopotamus in the deep jungle covered in bushes and vegetation. If a hippo is stuck in mud or in a difficult situation, the tiger can easily go for its throat.


The hippo vs tiger fight is an imaginary fight. However, if it were real, it would have been a hell of a battle to watch. Nevertheless, it would not have been fruitful for the tiger as it could not win in most cases. The hippo is a living tank and would crush the tiger. The tiger could win also, but the chances are very slim.

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Team Animalia Facts

"Team Animal Facts" is an expert group of wildlife enthusiasts who are impassioned for mysteries of animal life and dedicated to exploring them.

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