Mom Fights Off Tiger With Bare Hands to Save Her 15-Month-Old Son, Say Officials

Mom Fights Off Tiger With Bare Hands to Save Her 15-Month-Old Son, Say Officials

After a considerable conflict with the animal, the mother and son have sustained some serious injuries but are on their way to recovery.

Clawing their way out of a fatal incident Archana Choudhary, a 25-year-old mother of Raviraj fought off a tiger with her bare hands to save her child, Times of India reported. When Choudhary took her 15-month-old child outside the hut to relieve themselves, the tiger attacked and scratched the baby’s head before going for its neck. However, before the animal could pounce, the mother put herself in the way. At this moment, the mother-child duo are in recovery. The child has gashes on their head while the mother has been pulling through some grave injuries like a punctured lung and severe gashes on the abdomen.

The two were attacked just outside the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, according to local official Sanjeev Shrivastava. The tiger kept trying to go for the child before slinking away into the forest. The locals took the duo to the Manpur primary health center before they transferred the victims to a hospital in Umaria, 30 kilometers away. Choudhary’s husband Bhola Prasad informed Times of India of his wife’s and child’s condition. "She has been admitted to the hospital. She is out of danger and recovering. The baby is also doing fine," Shrivastava said. Since this incident, police officials have reassured residents that they will try their level best to push the tiger back into its territory. Now, the duo has been referred to Jabalpur, 130 kilometers away for further treatment. 

Image Source: Getty Images
Image Source: Getty Images


A teaching fellow and big cat expert at the University of Surrey in the U.K., Tara Pirie mentioned to Newsweek, “Sadly, the attack may have occurred because there is limited natural prey available, so the tiger has to search for alternative food sources, or the tiger had an ailment which prevented it from catching its natural prey.” And as CBS reports, this is not the first instance of a tiger attack. After a controversial kill of the female tiger T1, conversations around animal rights have started with the dwindling population of the species. And as the conversation around tiger conservation took hold, the Supreme Court in the country also weighed in to reject an appeal that would have stopped rangers from killing tigers.

As the population of the animal increases the land starts moving towards deforestation. “There are these several dozen tiger habitats that are now too small for a growing tiger population and are actually being reduced and cut off from each other by new infrastructure projects, by new construction projects and so on,” said Alex Kliment, Signal newsletter writer for GZERO Media. 

Image Source: Getty Image
Image Source: Getty Image



While deforestation is one of the factors, Kliment provided another one; the overpopulation of cows. “Once cows are under-producing milk, generally what milk farmers do is they kill the cows or sell them,” Kliment said. “Because [India's farmers] can't do that, there's this huge population of underfed, mangey cows wandering around which draws tigers out of the forest to have a bite.” The government has started compensating people for the attacks, but considering the deeper issues nesting in the country, the people have started using this opportunity to use themselves as bait in return for the compensation money. "Rural poverty is still a huge issue, so in this sort of crazy story about tigers and people you actually see that there's a real, deeper economic story here," Kliment explained.

According to government figures, around 225 people were killed in tiger attacks between 2014 and 2019. While over 200 tigers were killed by either poachers or electrocution between 2012 and 2018. India currently houses around 70% of the world's tigers which puts the current population in the country to 2,967 tigers. Even though poaching has become a prevalent practice, tiger population has grown by 33%, as reported in 2019. 



Representative Cover Image Source: Bengal Tiger walking, Tiger Reserve, Kanha National Park, Kanha, India (Photo by Nitin Prabhudesai/Getty Images)