Animal fights

Rumble in the jungle: what animals would win in a fight?

And what wild beasts do Americans think they themselves can take on?

The lion is often held to be king of the animals, but is it truly nature’s most fearsome fighter?

Americans in search of answers are well catered for: there is a book series, a video game battle simulator, and even a Discovery Channel documentary dedicated to establishing the outcome of hypothetical animal combat.

Of course, geography and morality get in the way of ever knowing for sure, but a new YouGov study provides the next best thing – the views of the US public.

Our survey puts 34 different animals – including humans – against one another to see which Americans think is the mightiest.

We showed people seven random pairings of animals from the list and asked them which of the two they thought would win in a fight. Animals are ranked by their “win percentage”, that is, how often Americans thought that animal would win in a head-to-head matchup when it was one of the two animals shown.

The results show that the elephant wears the crown in the animal kingdom – but only slightly. Elephants had a win rate of 74%, just fractions of a percent ahead of their single-horned cousins – the rhinoceros – in second place, also on 74%.

Not far behind in third place is the grizzly bear, at 73%. This may raise eyebrows among zoologists, given that grizzlies far outperform their pale cousins the polar bear (ninth place, on 64%) despite the latter being far larger and more aggressive.

Also performing particularly well are tigers (70%), hippos (69%), lions (68%) and crocodiles (67%).

Despite their meme-level aggressiveness, geese come dead last in the survey, triumphing in just 14% of their fights.

Our own species fared little better. Facing an array of the animal kingdom’s toughest and meanest, an unarmed human wins out only 17% of the time in American estimations – better only than the goose.

Man vs beast

But what if that unarmed human was one of our respondents themselves? We took a further selection of animals and asked Americans if they thought they could triumph in battle against them without weaponry.

The results show that Americans aren’t confident in their abilities. Most Americans are convinced they could beat a rat (72%), a house cat (69%) and a goose (61%) in a fight. Nevertheless, 17-24% still feel like they would lose in a struggle with such creatures, with the rest unsure.

The only other animal listed that Americans tend to think they could take is a medium-sized dog, although not even half (49%) are sure of this.

This confidence drops further with the dogs’ size: only 23% of Americans think they could beat a large dog in a fight, with 58% being sure they would lose.

Americans are least likely to think they could beat a grizzly bear in a fight. A confident or foolhardy 6% think they could emulate Leonardo di Caprio’s Revenant character Hugh Glass in taking down a brown bear (although Glass was armed with a dagger). Lions, gorillas and elephants are seen as similarly invulnerable, with only 8% boasting they could beat them.

YouGov data has previously highlighted male overconfidence, but there is effectively no gender difference when it comes to this top tier of opponents – men and women are about as (un)likely to think they could beat grizzlies, lions, gorillas and crocodiles in combat.

The differences start to emerge with wolves and kangaroos, which 16-17% of men think they could beat compared to 9-11% of women. An Australian man came under criticism a few years ago for punching a kangaroo in the face, although it later emerged he was trying to protect his dog.

One in five men think they could beat a chimpanzee (22%) or king cobra (23%) in a fight, while only 8-12% of women feel the same way.

The gap is biggest when it comes to medium sized dogs (which 60% of men but only 39% of women think they could beat) and geese (71% vs 51%).

Methodology (animals vs animals): 1,224 US adults were asked to choose which of two animals they thought would win in a fight in a series of head to head match-ups. On each page they saw two animals with the prompt: “Which animal do you think would win in a fight?” Each respondent saw seven match-ups, and no animal featured more than once. Data was weighted to be nationally representative of all US Adults, 18+. The survey was conducted between April 12-13, 2021.

Methodology (humans vs animals): This YouGov poll of 1,224 US adults was conducted April 12-13, 2021. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

See the full demographic results for the humans vs animals data here

Photos: Getty, Devon Gilson-Pitts/Facebook, 20th Century Fox, ViralHog



   (A)   No person shall knowingly do either of the following:

      (1)   Engage in cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another;

      (2)   Use, train, or possess any animal for seizing, detaining, or maltreating a domestic animal.

   (B)   No person shall knowingly do either of the following:

      (1)   Be employed at cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another;

      (2)   Do any of the following regarding an event involving cockfighting, bearbaiting, or pitting an animal against another:

         (a)   Wager money or anything else of value on the results of the event;

         (b)   Pay money or give anything else of value in exchange for admission to or being present at the event;

         (c)   Receive money or anything else of value in exchange for the admission of another person to the event or for another person to be present at the event;

         (d)   Use, possess, or permit or cause to be present at the event any device or substance intended to enhance an animal’s ability to fight or to inflict injury on another animal;

         (e)   Permit or cause a minor to be present at the event if any person present at or involved with the event is conducting any of the activities described in division (B)(1) or (B)(2)(a), (B)(2)(b), (B)(2)(c), or (B)(2)(d) of this section.

   (C)   A person who knowingly witnesses cockfighting, bearbaiting, or an event in which one animal is pitted against another when a violation of division (B) of this section is occurring at the cockfighting, bearbaiting, or event is an aider and abettor and has committed a violation of this division.

(R.C. § 959.15) (Rev. 2018)

   (D)   (1)   Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

      (2)   Whoever violates division (B) or (C) of this section is guilty of a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law.

(R.C. § 959.99(C), (I)) (Rev. 2018)

Statutory reference:

    Dogfighting, felony provisions, see R.C. § 959.16

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Greatest Animal Battles and Epic Wildlife Fights Compilation.

1830   9 months ago

1830   9 months ago

Epic animal battles and wildlife confrontations that lead to fight for survival in the African Wilderness. Lions fighting, wild dogs vs lions, honey badger attacks a python, honey badgers vs lions, rare rhino fight and a few more incredible animal fights.

Content of Video:
00:00 - Wild Dogs Vs. Lion Battle
00:35 - Lion Fight 2 Vs.1
02:09 - Honey Badger Fights Python
03:07 - Wild Dogs Hunt Oryx
04:50 - Epic Rhino Fight
05:39 - Honey Badger Fights 10 Lion
06:30 - Incredible Wild Dog Vs. Hyena Fight after Impala Hunt
07:24 - Lion King Epic Final Battle

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A Closer Look at Dogfighting

What Is Dogfighting?

Although it is a felony offense in all 50 states (plus D.C, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), organized dogfighting still takes place in many parts of the country. Historical accounts date as far back as the 1750s, with professional fighting pits proliferating in the 1860s.

As with any other illegal underground activity, it is impossible to determine how many people may be involved in dogfighting. Estimates based on fight reports in underground dogfighting publications, and on animals entering shelters bearing evidence of fighting, suggest that the number of people involved in dogfighting in the U.S. is in the tens of thousands. While organized dogfighting activity seemed to decline in the 1990s, many law enforcement and animal control officials feel that it has rebounded in recent years, with the Internet making it easier than ever for dogfighters to exchange information about animals and fights.

Why Do People Get Involved in Dogfighting?

There are many reasons people are drawn to dogfighting. The most basic is greed. Major dogfight raids have resulted in seizures of more than $500,000, and it is not unusual for $20,000 - $30,000 to change hands in a single fight. Stud fees and the sale of pups from promising bloodlines can also bring in thousands of dollars.

For others, the attraction lies in using the animals as an extension of themselves to fight their battles for them and to demonstrate their strength and prowess. However, when a dog loses, this can cause the owner of the dog to lose not only money, but status, and may lead to brutal actions against the dog.

For others, the appeal simply seems to come from the sadistic enjoyment of a brutal spectacle.

Which Dogs Are Used in Dogfighting?

For professional and hobbyist dogfighters, the sale of pups from parents who have won several fights is a major part of their activity. Underground dogfighting publications and websites are commonly used to advertise pups or the availability of breeding stock. Many “street” fighters think they can also make money by breeding and selling dogs, but a great number of these animals are killed or abandoned if they fail to perform. Although there are many breeds of dogs used for fighting worldwide—including the Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, the Tosa Inu and the Presa Canario—the dog of choice for fighting in the United States is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Occasionally other breeds and mixes are reportedly used in street fights or as “bait” dogs used by some to train dogfighting victims.

This does not mean that the pit bull is unsuitable as a family pet. It is important to remember that any dog can behave aggressively, depending on the context, his genetic background and his upbringing and environment. When a dog is treated well, properly trained and thoroughly socialized during puppyhood and matched with the right kind of owner and household, he’s likely to develop into a well-behaved companion and cherished member of the family.

How Are Dogfighting Victims Raised and Trained?

Dogs used for fighting must be kept isolated from other dogs, so they spend most of their lives on short, heavy chains, often just out of reach of other dogs. They are usually unsocialized to other dogs and to most people. However, many professional fighters invest much time and money in conditioning their animals. They are often given quality nutrition and basic veterinary care. The dogs are exercised under controlled conditions, such as on a treadmill.

The conditioning of dogfighting victims may also make use of a variety of legal and illegal drugs, including anabolic steroids to enhance muscle mass and encourage aggressiveness. Narcotic drugs may also be used to increase the dogs’ aggression, increase reactivity and mask pain or fear during a fight.

Dogfighting victims used by all types of fighters may have their ears cropped and tails docked close to their bodies. This serves two purposes: First, it limits the areas of the body that another dog can grab onto in a fight, and second, it makes it more difficult for other dogs to read the animal’s mood and intentions through normal body language cues.

Fighters usually perform this cropping/docking themselves using crude and inhumane techniques. This can lead to additional criminal charges related to animal cruelty and/or the illegal practice of veterinary medicine.

What Happens in a Dogfight?

Fights can take place in a variety of locations and at any time. They may be impromptu street fights in a back alley, or carefully planned and staged enterprises in a location specifically designed and maintained for the purpose. Usually the fight takes place in a pit that is between 14 and 20 feet square, with sides that may be made of plywood, hay bales, chain link or anything else that can contain the animals. The flooring may be dirt, wood, carpet or sawdust.

In a more organized fight, the dogs will be weighed to make sure they are approximately the same weight. Handlers will often wash and examine the opponent’s dog to remove any toxic substances that may have been placed on the fur in an attempt to deter or harm the opposing dog. At the start of a fight, the dogs are released from opposite corners and usually meet in the middle, wrestling to get a hold on the opponent. If they do, the dogs grab and shake to inflict maximal damage. Handlers are not permitted to touch the dogs except when told to do so by the referee.

Fights can last just a few minutes or several hours. Both animals may suffer injuries, including puncture wounds, lacerations, blood loss, crushing injuries and broken bones. Although fights are not usually to the death, many dogs succumb to their injuries later.

Unless they have had a good history of past performance or come from valuable bloodlines, losing dogs are often discarded, killed or simply left with their injuries untreated. If the losing dog is perceived to be a particular embarrassment to the reputation or status of its owner, it may be executed in a particularly brutal fashion as part of the “entertainment.”

What Are the Laws Related to Dogfighting?

As of 2008, dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In most states, the possession of dogs for the purpose of fighting is also a felony offense. Being a spectator at a dogfight is also illegal in all states. Laws and penalties vary widely by state.

On the federal side, the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 prohibits certain animal fighting-related activities when they have involved more than one state or interstate mail services, including the U.S. Postal Service. In 2007, Congress passed the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act with strong bipartisan support. The Act amended the Animal Welfare Act and provides felony penalties for interstate commerce, import and export relating to commerce in dogs abused for profit, roosters who are forced to fight and cockfighting paraphernalia. Each violation can result in up to three years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

In 2014, the crucial elements of the Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act were signed into law as part of the Farm Bill. This provision makes attending an animal fight anywhere in the U.S. a federal offense, and imposes additional penalties for bringing a child under 16 to an animal fight.

If Dogfighting Is So Widespread, Why Don’t More Cases Come to Light?

Dogfighting is a violent and highly secretive enterprise that is extremely difficult for law enforcement and investigative professionals to infiltrate. A dogfight investigation requires many of the same skills and resources as a major undercover narcotics investigation, and challenges the resources of any agency that seeks to respond to it.

An additional complication is that the evidence likely to be seized in a raid includes the dogs—living creatures who must be taken care of and maintained while the judicial process unfolds. Most prosecutors would be happy to take on every dogfighting case they could, but they are limited by the human and animal care resources available to them.


Fights animal

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