The Most Successful Hunters on Land

Not all hunters are created equal. These are some of nature’s deadliest killers, and their success rates might surprise you…



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Tigers may look ferocious, but their success rates are actually surprisingly quite low.

Biologists say that tigers are only successful at hunting between 5-10% of the time, although the Amur tigers in Russia’s Far East have higher kill rates when preying on deer and boar in snowy terrain.

Polar bears

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The element of surprise is what makes polar bears good hunters, with a 10% kill rate.

Unsuspecting seals sleeping in their lairs or coming up for air at a hole in the ice are easy polar bear prey, but they’ve also been known to get their paws on reindeer and even beluga whales.


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Of course wolves are good hunters, with a 14% success rate, but it might be owing to the fact that they’re not picky eaters.

Wolves prey on almost anything they can sink their teeth into: deer, moose, caribou, bison, sheep, oxen, rabbits, beavers, opossums, and even mice.


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Lions may be the king of the jungle, but they’re only number seven on the list, with a kill rate of 17-19% when hunting solo.

They do a little better when they’re working with their pride to take down animals. They do get points, however, for hunting at night and for stalking animals that are much, much faster than they are.

Domestic cats

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This might shock you, but feral domestic cats are incredible hunters, with a 32% success rate. When they’re not tearing up rolls of toilet paper or wrestling their way out of a cardboard box, these felines are ferocious. Even scarier — it’s not about food. They eat less than a third of what they kill.


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Don’t mess with moms. Female leopards with cubs are especially successful hunters, and leopards average a 38% kill rate.

They’re not just hunters, they’re hoarders — leopards typically bring their kill up into the branches of a tree to protect it from other predators and scavengers.

Peregrine falcons

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Peregrine falcons are not just one of the most formidable predators, with a 47% rate of success, they’re also the most stylish. They mostly eat other birds, and they do it in a dramatic fashion, diving at speeds of up to 200 mph to swoop up their dinner.


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Cheetahs like fast food. They are uncommonly good sprinters, but not good distance runners, so their hunts involve lots of stalking and quick bursts of speed. Even though they kill their prey 58% of the time, they are often too tired to protect their take, and other predators wind up with the leftovers.

Black footed cat

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These wild cats are extremely proficient killers; they hunt all night, every night, covering large distances, and they make between ten and fourteen kills each night. They need to eat one-fifth of their body weight daily, so their 60% kill rate and indiscriminate taste (they hunt anything from mammals to insects) is a matter of survival.

African wild dogs

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And coming in at #1, the best land hunters in the natural world are African wild dogs. They owe their 85% rate of success to teamwork and stamina. African wild dogs hunt in packs, and even though they reach chase speeds of 60 km per hour, that’s still not fast enough to catch a sprinting antelope; instead they pursue their prey for long distances, wearing them down.