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.
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”.
“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.