Tamer Dave Hoover once commented: "Lions are the troublemakers, the most dangerous. When the public sees the cats, they always think the tiger is the worst, because a tiger looks bad. He looks sneaky. But, the male lion of the big cats is the worst. The male lion has a pride. He's in charge of a group of females until another male lion runs him off. It could be its own son. But the female lion is under domination. She may make the kill. The male lion comes down to eat, and then the females can eat. It doesn't work that way in humans, but it does work that way in animals."
Dave Salmoni stated that even though lions start trouble a lot more often, they are also A LOT easier to stop. Mainly, lions start trouble but usually not serious and can be driven back. Tigers are different story. They don't usually start trouble, but if they are coming for you, they are coming to KILL. Words from Salmoni himself.
......lionboss, a tiger can be stopped, as can a lion......beatty can attest to this (if he were alive) however, he has stated that the first moments of a tiger`s rush would worry him the most. but, this is, i believe, mostly out of uncertainty, or fear, rather than aggression, and trust me, if a lion really wanted to kill you, there is really not much you could do. and, studies does indicate the lion is a much more determined animal, in this respect, often going into the huts of people to snatch their victims.
The lion definitely has an ego, no question about it. A very troublsome animal to attempt to train.
I'd like to reference Salmoni for this one. Aparently, lions are going to "challenge" the trainer more often, but can be forced to back down easily. The tiger doesn't challenge the trainer that often, but when he does, he means business. This can be explained very simply: the two animals are viewing the trainer in two different social contexts. The lion views the trainer as a pride mate, thus he won't attempt to kill the trainer, merely attempt to establish a "pecking order." The tiger, however, will attack the trainer when he sees him as a rival. Thus his attacks are less frequent, but if he feels threatened, the confines of the enclousure will force him to attack and attempt to kill. If the lion viewed the trainer like the tiger does, he wouldn't hesitate in going for the kill.