Sometimes, life can get you down. It happens to the best of us.
The stress of work, family, school, finances and all the rest — it just drags on you. You need a way to escape, if just for a moment, to let all of the pressing cares of the world drift away, to get caught in a moment of zen-like appreciation of this beautiful world that we inhabit but so rarely notice — I mean, really notice.
You need to watch a tiger and a bear fight each other on camera.
Yes, in these dreary last few weeks of winter, as the Northeast digs itself out from a “bomb cyclone,” you can sit yourself down and watch a sloth bear and tiger have it out in a once-in-a-lifetime duel, all caught on camera at one of India’s national parks.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: The following clip contains violent that some viewers may find disturbing.
The footage was taken from Tadoba National Park in Maharashtra state.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, the fight began when the female bear used a watering hole to cool herself.
The tiger, named Matkasur, apparently viewed the watering hole as his territory. Thus, he went after the bear, who also had a cub in tow.
As you can see, the bear seems to have held its own, first using the MMA ground-and-pound technique, and finally chasing the tiger into a pond and then away into the wilderness.
“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,” Akshay Kumar, the chief naturalist at Bamboo Forest Safari Lodge, told NDTV. He’s the man who shot the video.
“It went on for 15 minutes,” Kumar said. “The tiger was roaring. It was a severe fight.”
While sloth bears tend to be naturally defensive, this one had no chance but to fight once the tiger attacked her.
“Sloth bears are easy game,” said Dr. Anish Andheria, president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust. “As you can see in the video, the sloth bear was so exhausted. They can’t outrun tigers.”
The one thing that saved this bear in particular was her fur.
“The only thing that saves the bear is the hair on the body, because tiger doesn’t get a grip,” Andheria said.
Some on social media praised the bear’s effort, putting forth her performance as a more ambulatory version of that old “Hang in There!” poster with the kitten dangling from a branch.
Others seemed to think that the tiger and the bear were just playing.
If they were playing, however, it seems somewhat unlikely that you would see the bear act so aggressive toward the end, or that it would have fooled both the president of the Wildlife Foundation Trust and a safari leader.
Some Twitter users were even taking teams.
Whatever your feelings, there’s little denial that this tiger and bear fighting is what the world needs right now. When the news seems rough, when life gets you down, it’s good to know that somewhere out there, two hyper-carnivores are fighting a vicious duel on the dusty plains of India. And someone has a camera trained on them.
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