Interspecies Conflict/Lion vs Tiger


Hi Andy,
I'm not really interested into the fight itself (enough has been said about it!) but I'd rather ask you to comment on something I found on this website:

The sentence is this:
Charles Wilkinsí book has it that, ďEvery weapon itís got has to be deadly efficient. Each of its retractable claws, for example, is independently articulated, so that, having grabbed its prey, it can drag it in, as if on a conveyor belt, without having to release its grip. ĎA lion canít do that, because its claws arenít fully retractable and because they all work together. If it grabs you through the cage bars and wants to pull you in, it has to release its grip every time it moves farther along your arm or leg, so you have a chance to escape. If a tiger gets even a thread of your clothing, it can have your arm or leg through the slot in a instant.Ē (Page 9, Ref. 2).  

It's the first time I read about this peculiarity, I was wondering if you could confirm or deny it, and if such difference is present also in other big acts.

Thank you very much,

Hi Fabio,
You know I'v been thinking about this for a while since you asked.
I have read that and I do agree however I have to look at what I know, if a Lion grabbed you even form a cage the Lions grip will be solid. It happens like second nature with the lion, it doesn't matter about the claws, these things have happened and a mauling from a lion behind bars has killed people! Lions are not as dexterous as Tigers maybe but if that is true it is not by a lot.
I think Fabio that it doesn't matter that much if a Lion or a Tiger grabs you, they will find a way to keep you.
In other Cats like the Cheetah the Claws are semi retractable and the claws are always visable. A Leopards paws are fully retractable and so is the Jaguars (The jags are huge too). I'm guessing the Cheetah is like that due to speed issues.
Anyway I hope I helped,

Interspecies Conflict

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I can answer many questions, firstly about all type of Dogs, I have worked very close to many breeds. Also many other animals.


I worked for many years in a preserved park here in south Africa with game animals. I worked mostly with dogs for security and herding. I have experience with some of the big five animals particularly Lions and Leopards.

I belong mostly to the well being of a large South African game park.

I have written up may guide for my local park and about South African countryside.

I have security credentials in dealing with dogs.

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I don't have any yet but hopeful my experience is enough.

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