What Do Tigers Eat?

Sharon Sipple/CC-BY 2.0

Tigers are carnivorous animals that eat a wide range of animals depending on the habitat of the tigers and the availability of food. Often this means that tigers feed on deer and buffalo or even snakes.

According to Sea World, large prey, such as deer, pigs, cows and buffalo, make up significant parts of tigers’ diets. Tigers’ most commonly stalked prey include sambar, chital, sika and nilgai, all of which are deer species found in Southern Asia, and buffalo and guar, bovine species. Tigers have even been known to attack baby elephants and baby rhinos as long as they are vulnerable and unprotected.

Sometimes tigers settle for smaller prey, such as monkey and civets, both of which are found in tropical rain forests, one of the most common habitats of tigers. When desperate, tigers eat small animals like frogs, lizards, snakes and even termites. They even fish for their meals in local watering holes.

Tigers are solitary animals, and they hunt that way. They start out by stalking their prey until they are close enough to attack. According to Sea World, tigers eat about 50 deer-sized animals per year and have been known to eat 88 pounds of flesh in a single sitting.