United, we … ROAR!!

Its year 2013, when an incredibly rare natural history moment caused quite a stir at Rajiv Gandhi National Park, Nagarhole, when a male tiger decided to take a mud bath in a culvert. A fairly reasonable wish one would think, till some gaurs had the same idea…

Mar 2, 2013 05:40 pm

A huge male tiger decides to head towards a culvert on the backwaters of the River Kabini (a culvert is a drain or pipe that allows water to flow under a road or manmade tracks in forests).

A herd of gaur (Indian bison) seems to have had the same idea as they reach the culvert to quench their thirst. One gaur from the herd picks up the scent of the tiger, alerting the others. The group seems uncomfortable with the tiger’s presence.

The gaur stand around the culvert, and a decision seems to have been made. They gather around the tiger and launch an offensive attack. They start snorting and kicking up dust and the mood becomes increasingly aggressive.

The tiger, faced with such a united show of aggression by the gaur, and clearly outnumbered, decides to run away. As the mood is this tense, he’s in a bit of a panic and unfortunately, heads in the opposite direction of the culvert and bangs into the stonewall. The tiger quickly realizes his mistake and now tries to escape from the other side, despite the gaur standing there, blocking his way. He dodges the animals standing around, finds an opening and runs for his life.

The gaur seems to be in a very aggressive mood and he almost attacks the tiger, as he rushes past, chasing the large cat away from the culvert. The tiger takes a long leap and manages to escape.

In a truly shocking turn of events, the gaur is seen chasing the tiger some distance away, maybe to ensure the cat leaves. A rare sight, the tiger is literally running for dear life.

The tiger seems exhausted and also very embarrassed to have been driven away so. Much of the prey in the area has witnessed his defeat and the big cat now looks back unable to digest the plight he had just been subjected to.

About the Author /

An engineer by profession and a natural history photographer by choice, Praveen believes that meaningful wildlife photography can protect or help conserve wildlife. His images have appeared in national and international publications of repute, exhibited globally, and have also won Praveen several accolades in wildlife photography, including two IUP Ribbon awards at YPS International Salon 2018 among many others.

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