In a gripping nerve-wracking fight for existence between a sloth bear sow and a tiger was observed in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), in which the female bear defended successfully against the attack and became the unlikely winner.
A popular viral video from Maharashtra’s Tadoba Tiger Reserve captures an intense face-off between an adult tiger and a sloth bear. The video, taken a few days back during an afternoon safari, shows the meeting between two aggressive members of the animal kingdom. The utter resilience that the female bear displays in the fight as it stands constant attacks from the tiger has made many wildlife observers astonished and surprised.
The video starts with the tiger chasing away the bear but unexpectedly, the sloth bear charges at the tiger. A clash follows and it is far from a ‘full of fun’ fight. As the video progresses, the tiger then tries to pull the bear down to defeat. However, the sloth bear tries with full power to escape the tiger’s hold. The following few stressed minutes witness both the tiger and the sloth bear wildly charge at each other struggling to proclaim their dominance.
Akshay Kumar, The chief naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge (one of the best hotels & resorts in Tadoba) in an interview said that the tiger is 7-year-old ‘Matkasur’, a dominant male from the Tadoba National Park who has considered the water body known as Jamun Bodi, seen in the video clip, as his territory.
The female sloth bear was walking towards the water body with her young cub in quest of water when the tiger, which was cooling off from the afternoon heat in the water, attacked. While the mother bear, with the intention of protecting her cub, also battled back. The worried cub roared as its mother clashed with the big cat.
For the protective sloth bear, not known to be territorial, it was actually her motherly drive to fight back. The tiger attacked the bear for more than 5-minutes. It went after the sloth bear to attack but she never gave up in this terrific revolt so as to protect her cub. Surprisingly, this battle went on for 15 minutes.
Since it was a severe fight in one of the best tiger reserve in India, both the tiger and sloth bear grieved with injuries from the attack. The young cub ran away during the entire battle.
Mr Kumar, who shot the video in Tadoba, was leading a wildlife safari with tourists when they spotted the face-off between the bear and tiger. The video went viral on social media.
Dr Anish Andheria, President of Wildlife Conservation Trust, said, “Sloth bears are easy game. As you can perceive in the video, the sloth bear was really exhausted after a point. They fail to outrun tigers.”
Even though injured, what protected the sloth bear from further attack by the top predator of the forest was her fur. The mere thing that saves the bear is the hair (fur) on the body, since tigers aren’t able to get a grip. The video taken on the tadoba tiger safari in India is yet another instance of the mysterious way our entire animal kingdom works.
Tadoba National Park , nestled in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district experiences quite high temperatures during the months of summer. Due to the shortage of water, animals assemble at a common water hole to quench the thirst and normalize the body temperature. Although these encounters are not rare in the wild, it was the first time it was observed in the tourist hub of the reserve.