Roaring Tiger Charges at Tour Group Driving on the Road
Extremely close call with the wild.
A group of tourists in India had an extremely close call with the wild when a giant tiger suddenly charged at their Jeep, and the heart-stopping moment was caught on video. An Indian forest official shared footage of the terrifying encounter on Twitter, which has racked up nearly 200,000 views. "Striped monk gets irritated," wrote Susanta Nanda, likening the tourist group to humans crashing through someone else's house whenever they felt like it.
Tiger Roars In Chilling Video
The incident occurred during a Jeep safari in the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve in northern Uttarakhand state. As the vehicle proceeds down a road, one of the Jeep's passengers captures a huge Bengal baring its teeth and snarling loudly by the side of the road.
All of a sudden, the tiger charges at the car. The passengers are audibly frightened while the tour guide tries to keep the beast at bay by shouting at it. The driver hits the gas as the tiger makes a few more snarling lunges, then dashes back into the brush.
Beast Likely Stunned, Expert Says
Wildlife experts say the big cat was probably as stunned to encounter humans up close as they were, and it was likely trying to scare them away by "mock charging" at the Jeep.
"In this case, the tiger was maybe trying to cross the road and when these guys came too close, it was a sudden reaction," Harsha Narasimhamurthy, a professional wildlife photographer, told The Independent. He advised always giving wild animals their space.
A "Mock Charge"?
"This is what we call a mock charge," said Camilla Malvestiti, a wildlife photographer in India and a tiger safari mentor. "It's a warning given by the tiger not to come closer. Tigers might do that when they feel someone or some animal has invaded their space."
She said it was unlikely to be demonstrating "real" aggression. "I am not aware of the back story of this particular episode and why the tigress got irritated by the safari vehicles," she said. "Some tigers are more irascible than others. It depends on their personality."
Social Media Reacts
Commenters on Nanda's Twitter post were alternately terrified and sympathetic to the tiger's crankiness at being disturbed. "Heart attack moment," one man said about the video. "Humans need to be more sensible and respect the space of wildlife habitats," another wrote.
"Nature Guides Have Important Role"
Another commenter said, "They don't attack like this unless provoked. These tourists definitely shouted or gestured at the tiger to get this reaction," declaring that disruptive visitors "should never be allowed at these places."
"Sensitizing the visitors about habits and habitats of animals is very important as we have less space for wildlife and more people are entering their space. Nature guides have a very important role in this," said another.