Cambridge Big Cats

Who would win in a fight between a tiger and a lion?

For various (rather poor) reasons, I often pose this question to my students. The answer, needless to say, is that it depends: tigers are bigger, more powerful animals, so should win on paper; but they are also solitary hunters, wary of a fight. The lion is a pack animal, so tends to be more aggressive. If the lion cornered the tiger, the tiger would probably win; but if one of the animals could slink away it would be the tiger who ceded the field, leaving the lion victorious.

As they say, it’s not the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog that counts. Or in this case, the cat.


For some reason, the police have just released data on the number of big cat sightings around Cambridge in recent years, and it turns out the Fens are overrun with apex predators, specifically:

  • panthers
  • puma-like creatures
  • panther-like creatures
  • a black panther (the so-called Fen Tiger)
  • wild cats
  • a ‘large’ cat
  • cats-too-big-to-be-ordinary-cats
  • cat-mauled sheep (?)
  • a lynx

So, no lions or tigers in the Cambridge area. Just quite a few nutters.


In unrelated news, actual big cats in the Cambridge area are being entertained with Christmas trees. Linton Zoo (about 12 miles to the SE of Cambridge) has made its regular appeal for donations of old Christmas trees, which it uses to decorate the zoo and entertain the animals.

The Lions in particular are fond of the trees, which they mercilessly wrestle to submission.


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