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Can You Ride A Tiger?

Tigers are magnificent beasts that many people love, fear, and revere in equal measure, and they have a certain majesty that makes them particularly appealing to us – but have you ever wondered “can you ride a tiger?”.

It’s no surprise if you have, because tigers are stunningly beautiful, and they are also very large creatures, so it seems likely that one could hold the weight of a human.

Throughout history, tigers have appeared in our literature and our legends, often as symbols of power and independence.

Tigers are extremely beautiful animals, and if you have ever had the pleasure of seeing one in a sanctuary, at a zoo, or on a safari trip, you will already be aware of the power that they command.

They are elegant, strong, sleek, and extremely graceful, so they might seem like a great option for riding.

On the other hand, tigers are very dangerous animals, and they are not a creature that can be reliably domesticated, no matter how hard you try.

You should not assume that you can approach, touch, or otherwise handle a tiger under any circumstances, and very few people would ever get close enough to try.

If you’ve ever seen tourists taking selfies with tigers, it might seem only a small step to riding on the back of one, but this is not something that you should ever consider doing, even if you get the opportunity.

Can You Ride A Tiger?

No, you cannot ride a tiger, even if you find one that has been domesticated.

Tigers may be able to bear the weight of a human because they are powerful felines, but they will not allow you to ride upon them, and you should not attempt this, no matter how tame the tiger may appear to be.

A tiger would be very likely to lash out and injure you if you even tried to do this, and could easily kill a person.

Tigers are also extremely unsuitable as mounts; they are unlikely to be strong enough to carry an adult for long.

Furthermore, the gait of a tiger is not at all suited to taking a rider; cats bend their spines as they walk, which would be uncomfortable for the rider and the cat.

Unlike a horse, which keeps its back straight, a tiger tends to flex, and this would not work if you tried to sit on it, especially with a saddle.

In short, tigers are unsuited to being ridden, and it’s unlikely that a tiger would bear either the weight or discomfort of having a human on its back for any notable distance; the tiger would probably quickly throw the human off.

Although you may see people riding upon the backs of tigers in fantasy movies, it is not something that can or should happen in real life, as tigers are a protected species and would probably be very unhappy if they were ridden.

Where Can You Go To Ride A Tiger?

The phrase “ride a tiger” comes from the full expression “he who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount,” and this means that you have put yourself in a dangerous situation but getting out of it will put you in even more danger – and literally (rather than figuratively) riding a tiger would be extremely dangerous.

You cannot, therefore, go anywhere to ride a tiger, because no sanctuaries or commercial businesses offer this experience.

You may be able to ride many other kinds of animals abroad, including elephants, buffalo, camels, etc., but no businesses offer tiger rides for a whole variety of reasons.

Firstly, it would be an extremely dangerous business model, as tigers can be unpredictable and could lash out unexpectedly, especially if put under the stress of being ridden.

Secondly, businesses would recognize the physical burden this would place on a tiger’s body, and how unethical it is to do this for the sake of amusing tourists.

Although some businesses do exploit animals, most would be aware of how unpopular this could make them, and would therefore want to avoid it.

Thirdly, a tiger would make a very uncomfortable mount, detracting from the experience and making it unenjoyable, especially for adults. You really cannot ride a tiger, and therefore businesses do not offer this option with their animals.

Is It Illegal To Ride A Tiger?

It probably isn’t directly illegal to ride a tiger, no, although it is possible that certain countries or states have banned this behavior because of unusual circumstances necessitating one.

However, on the whole, it is not actually illegal to ride one, but very few people would ever have the opportunity to put this to the test.

Most countries do not have easy access to tigers, and zoos and sanctuaries go to great lengths to ensure that people cannot just touch their animals whenever they choose to. 

Even in countries where tigers are wild, it would be extremely difficult to find and catch one, and you would get hurt in the process.

It therefore doesn’t need to be illegal to ride on a tiger’s back, because few people can attempt this. However, you should bear in mind that tigers are a protected species, so it may well be illegal to own one where you live.

Many people love the idea of having a tiger, but it is extremely difficult to provide a suitable space for one, which is partly why ownership is so restricted.

If you are truly passionate about this species, you may wish to look into donation programs whereby you “adopt” a tiger that is kept at a sanctuary.


The answer to “can you ride a tiger?” is no, not even if you have a domesticated one that is tolerant of a human trying to sit upon its back. Tigers have flexible spines that curve a lot when they walk or run, and therefore they are not practical to ride. It is likely that a human would be thrown off, or would hamper the tiger’s ability to move so much that it would simply sit down.