In 2004, Animal Planet, in one of the greatest fits of mad genius in television programming history, produced a show that had a simple, captivating premise–pit two wild animals against eachother in a battle to the death to see who wins. What was this amazing show, you ask? No, I’m not talking about Blind Date. This show was called Animal Face-Off.
Of course the showdowns were only hypothetical–animal experts would work with engineers to construct mechanical replicas of different animals’ bodies that would stand in for the real thing. They’d also recreate the battle using really crappy CGI. Some of these clips are available on YouTube, and the Animal Face-Off Wikipedia page has a good rundown of how the battles played out.
The thing is, I think Animal Planet may have flubbed some of the results of the battles. This may have been useful for upping the dramatic potential, but I was interested in seeing if there were any videos of actual animal fights on YouTube to shed light on these hypothetical match-ups. I was not disappointed. What follows are some of the best of what I found …
Lion vs. Tiger
The Lion vs. Bengal Tiger episode of Animal Face-Off was one of the shows biggest upsets and certainly goes against what experts have to say about this epic match. But nonetheless, here’s how it played out on the show:
And here’s footage of an actual lion fighting a tiger, backed up by some awesome rap music. We can see clearly that a male lion (who only does 10% of his own hunting) will run away like a b**** when encountered with a real predator. The female lion doesn’t even seem to care:
Polar Bear vs. Walrus
Come on. The polar bear is the biggest land predator in the world. No way some fat walrus is going to win this. Clearly Animal Planet was pandering to its heavily pro-walrus advertisers:
OK, 99 times out of 100 that walrus isn’t going to be able to use his tusks. Now here’s a gory clip of a polar bear walrus brawl that went down in real life. The walrus is “virtually helpless against the polar bear’s assault.” Guess that takes Animal Face-Off’s “virtual” fight off the table, doesn’t it? Thank you, National Geographic:
Tiger vs. Armed men riding elephants
Unfortunately, Animal Face-Off wasn’t on the air long enough to get down to a face-off of this sort, although adding different elements into the mix may have been a good approach to take the show beyond 12 episodes. Good news is, we’ve got foot-age of this match-up in real life. What you are seeing in the below video is a group of men riding elephants in order to hunt down a tiger who has been attacking villagers in a rural village in India. It would appear that the tiger is screwed. Watch on (wait for it):
Hippo vs. Crocodile
Ever look into an animal’s eyes and realize that you’ll never really know exactly what it’s thinking? Hippos are reputed to be one of the most dangerous and malicious animals in Africa, so keep that in mind as you watch this video: