A naturalist who went on a safari in the National Park of Tadoba in India has captured on film an impressive fight between a sloth bear and a tiger. The female bear was attacked after the well-known, dominant male feline starting chasing her and her cub.
The tiger is one of the most powerful evolving predators in India. However, occasionally the animals stand up to and even fight back against it without mercy. This is what Akshay Kumar has been able to observe as head naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge, situated in the State of Maharashtra in India. During the safari, the man did indeed capture an amazing sight.
The footage was filmed at the National Park of Tadoba, a destination known for accommodating one of the biggest concentrations of Bengal tigers (Panthera tigiris tigris) in the world. The naturalist was able to see just one of these felines and not just any: a dominant male that is well known in the Matkasur region (or T54). The difference is that the animal wasn’t alone.
Tiger vs sloth bear
Akshay Kumar saw the tiger hunting a sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), which was approaching with her young, from a watering hole where the tiger was cooling off. This was behaviour that the female clearly did not appreciate at all, as she did not hesitate to fight back and charged at the feline. The two then engaged in a violent fight, which the naturalist successfully captured.
In the pictures, we can see the bear standing on her feet to face the tiger and swiping at it with her paws. The two animals then come to blows whilst trying to bite each other. The bear was far from letting the tiger have the upper hand. She ends up fighting back and chasing the feline back to his watering hole.
“The tiger was attacking the bear for more than five minutes, hunting the sloth bear but she continued to charge so as to protect her cub,” Akshay Kular told NDTV. “This lasted 15 minutes. The tiger roared. It was a violent combat”. Finally, the tiger ended up running away and the bear disappeared, leaving the tiger to go back to resting at the waterhole.
According to witnesses and as the pictures show, the two animals were injured in the fight but the thick fur of the bear would have partially protected it from the tiger’s attacks, which could have had much more serious consequences.
Recognisable by its long snout and black fur, the sloth bear can often be found on the Indian subcontinent. As a medium size (130kg for around 1.5m), this species is primarily insectivorous and mainly eats termites. However, this does not prevent it from striking fear sometimes.
The sloth bear has powerful canines and is known to be aggressive, particularly in the face of other dangerous species, such as the Bengal tiger.
The feline is known to occasionally attack bears but there are some cases where they do it habitually. It is not unusual to occasionally meet bears with marks caused by tiger attacks.
Check out the video above to see the incredible fight for yourself!