Conservation news

Epic battle between tiger and sloth bear caught on film

Screen cap from video shot by Akshay Kumar

A naturalist at an ecotourism lodge in India has captured footage of a battle between a tiger and a mother sloth bear protecting its cub.

Akshay Kumar, the chief naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge in Maharashtra, shot the video during an afternoon safari on Wednesday in Tadoba National Park.

Screen capture from video shot by Akshay Kumar
Screen cap from video shot by Akshay Kumar
Screen cap from video shot by Akshay Kumar
Screen cap from video shot by Akshay Kumar

The video starts with the tiger — a well-known dominant male named Matkasur — chasing off a sloth bear that was headed toward a water hole with her cub. The bear then charges the tiger and the fight ensues.

Kumar told NDTV that the bear’s attack was “motherly instinct”.

Screen capture of footage shot by Akshay Kumar of the battle between a male tiger and a mother sloth bear over access to a water hole in Maharashtra’s Tadoba National Park. Via @the_bamboo_forest on Instagram
Mother sloth bear charging a male tiger in Tadoba National Park. Photo by Akshay Kumar, the chief naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge. Via @the_bamboo_forest on Instagram

“The tiger attacked the bear more than five minutes. It went after the sloth bear but she kept charging in order to protect her cub,” Kumar told NDTV. “It went on for 15 minutes. The tiger was roaring. It was a severe fight.”

Both animals were injured in the encounter. Kumar said the bear’s thick fur saved her from a worse outcome.

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