Animal lovers often wonder which would win in a fight between some of nature’s most ferocious creatures. Alligator vs Crocodile? Buffalo vs Rhinoceros? Shark vs Lion? These fantasy matches usually only exist as fodder for arguments and speculation, rarely ever manifesting as actual events. But at the Tadoba National Park in India’s Maharashtra state, a group of tourists not only got to witness a tiger fight a bear in real life, but also filmed it for the entire world to see.
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Before we get to the epic match, let’s take a look at both sides. The tiger is the world’s largest cat species and, more appropriately for this situation, an apex predator. This is an animal at the top of the food chain, giving the tiger overwhelming odds against the sloth bear.
Also known as the labiates bear, it’s a smaller species that typically preys on insects and fruits, a true underdog going into this bout. But this is without factoring in the element of “hysterical strength,” something that happens to a parent following a burst of adrenaline when a child is in danger. It’s mostly attributed to humans, but a similar occurrence is also common when animals have to protect their young.
This leads us to the fight. It all started with a male tiger named Matkasur cooling itself at a watering hole. Tensions heightened when a mother sloth bear arrived with her cub. The tiger became territorial, as it had gotten there first, and attacked. The sounds only added to the intensity, with the cub crying in the background, the tiger roaring and the bear growling. Eventually the sloth bear’s thick fur made it impossible for the tiger to ultimately win, and the fight ended in a draw, which could be seen as a victory for the sloth bear. Watch the incredible footage below...