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Mama Sloth Bear Fights off Tiger in Maharashtra, Becomes Social Media Star | Watch

Sloth bears are few of the jungle denizens who are not afraid of taking on the big cats for stealing food.


Updated:March 6, 2018, 6:40 PM IST

Nagpur: Fights between sloth bears and tigers are part of jungle lore, but to witness one is rare, and video of such an encounter in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra has gone viral on social media.

Sloth bears are few of the jungle denizens who are not afraid of taking on the big cats for stealing food, or, as naturalist Akshay Kumar and his Canadian companion witnessed on February 28, for protecting its cub.

Kumar, Chief Naturalist with Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge at Tadoba, told PTI that he and a Canadian tourist were tracking ‘T-54', a male tiger popularly known as 'Matkasur', that day.

Around 2.30 in the afternoon, they came across the tiger resting at Jamunbhodi water hole.

Suddenly the tiger was distracted by something and moved away from the spot. When Kumar asked the driver of their vehicle to reverse it a little so as to keep the tiger in sight, they heard a sloth bear grunting.

Soon they spotted a female sloth bear and her cub approaching the water hole.

As Kumar and his companion watched with bated breath, the tiger attacked the female sloth bear.

However, the mother bear, instead of fleeing, stood her ground and fought with the big cat for almost 15 minutes, said Kumar, who shot a video of the encounter.

The sloth bear took more mauling in the fight than the tiger did, Kumar said, but eventually the tiger walked away.

Confrontations between tigers and sloth bears are common, but they are rarely seen in the boundary areas of jungle where tourists go, Kumar said.

Sloth bear is not a territorial animal unlike tigers and can wander to any part of the jungle, he said.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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