Two forest rangers narrowly escaped with their lives after they were chased by a wild tiger in a forest in India. The close call was caught on video.
The clip, which has since gone viral on Facebook, was shared by the Forests and Wildlife Protection Society. The department captions the video, “A Tiger is seen chasing a bike in Muthanga Wildlife Safari in Wayanad in Kerala. Is this how the Tiger Parks are managed in India?”
The first seconds of footage reveal the rangers riding a motorcycle along a road through a dense Indian forest. All of a sudden, a flash of bright orange pierces the greenery; a mature tiger races out of the forest towards the bike and its passengers.
The tiger gets dangerously close to the back of the motorcycle, before abruptly peeling off to the side of the road and retreating back into the woods. Through the nerve-wracking seconds, the two rangers can be heard yelling and exclaiming as the big cat gets too close for comfort.
The two individuals in the video are Forest Department officials, according to information a moderator from the Forests and Wildlife Protection Society gave the Hindustan Times. The two had been driving along the road to patrol the area after receiving reports of a tiger sighting.
Another Tiger Reserve. Another Tigress with 4 cubs. Had a chance to see them grow into their Adulthood. Cuteness overloaded. pic.twitter.com/1GmRBMUmWQ
— Susanta Nanda IFS (@susantananda3) June 29, 2019
The now-viral video accumulated over 2,900 reactions and over 11,000 shares, as of July 6. The comments section, now 1,300 strong, is a mix of terror, hilarity, and admiration.
Commenter Ranjith Vm said the “unbelievable” incident was from his district, adding that he “never met a tiger from that reserve wenever i try for it… what a chase.”
Rachita Choudhari also chimed in, writing, “Oh ho just stop and pet the kitty. It just wants to show some love.”
Many users commented on the skillful driving that was so instrumental in their escape, and praised the rangers for choosing a vehicle with enough horsepower to outspend the animal. Others classified the situation as unusual behavior for tigers.
One such person, Murugan Krishnan, critiqued other commenters for being “Keyboard warriors.”
“This is a Tiger Reserve and there are more than 200 tigers in this forest. All tigers do not behave this way. I regularly travel through this forest dreaming of spotting one. You have to be extremely lucky to even see one. This is just an exception from a behaviour point of view, just as humans are not the same. Just enjoy the video, Thank the stars that those two were not killed.”
— ????????THE_CUTE ANIMAL ???????????????????????????? (@The_CuteAnimal) June 29, 2019
Adult tigers have been clocked at 40 mph, according to National Geographic Kids. This is likely made possible by their strong hind legs, which Animal Planet says are longer than their front legs. The website adds that tigers are able to jump 20 to 30 feet forward in a single bound—despite some being quite hefty, such as the adult Amur or Siberian tigers, which can weigh up to 660 pounds.
Female tigers can give birth to a litter of two to four cubs every two years. At birth, cubs are blind and helpless, but within a month they grow four times their size. Tiger cubs are dependent on their mothers for the first 18 months of life ???? pic.twitter.com/ZYoJSMZYFH
— Wildlife nature (@WILDLIFENATURE3) July 6, 2019