Brave mother fights off tiger with bare hands and snatches her baby from its jaws
The animal's claws punctured her lungs but she kept fighting for nearly two minutes until villagers responded to her screams for help
MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA: A brave mother fought off a tiger with her bare hands and snatched her baby from its jaws after the beast got a hold of the toddler's head.
25-year-old Archana Chaudhary and her 15-month-old son were in a field in Rohania village -- located near the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in the state of Madhya Pradesh -- when the tiger sprang out of bushes and attacked the duo. The big cat proceeded to clamp its jaws around little Rajveer's head, but his mum immediately rushed to his defense. Unarmed, she began punching and kicking the tiger despite being severely mauled in the process. The animal's claws punctured her lungs but she kept fighting for nearly two minutes until villagers responded to her screams for help.
Husband Bhola Prasad recounted the incident to the Times of India. “Rajveer was sitting and Archana was standing nearby,” he said, “Suddenly, a tiger emerged, picked Rajveer, and started walking away. Archana ran after the tiger for about 5 meters, hitting the tiger with her hands to save her son. The tiger left the child and attacked Archana.” Villagers used sticks to scare the tiger and it eventually ran back into the woods. Archana and her son were rushed to the hospital, where they are being treated for their wounds in the intensive care unit. Aside from a punctured lung, Archana also sustained deep wounds to her back, hands, and abdomen. The report stated that a search operation is underway to push the tiger back into the reserve boundaries. Villagers, in the meantime, have been instructed to stay indoors after dark.
Tiger attacks are rather commonplace in India. Last November, a tribal woman reportedly took on a leopard with her bare hands and snatched her six-year-old son from its grasp in a bloody encounter in a village near Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district. In another widely-reported case, a man managed to survive a tiger attack by playing dead. The disturbing scene was caught on film in Bhandara in the state of Maharashtra. Video footage showed the predator leaping from a hedge across a dirt road as villagers scurried around. The beast proceeded to pin down one man as others watched in horror. The man, however, remained calm and motionless for several seconds while villagers threw stones and screamed at the tiger before it finally ran off. At least three people were injured during the rampage.
Those living in areas close to forests and national parks have reported an increase in human-animal conflicts. Urbanization has encroached on natural habitats and forced wild animals to enter villages and towns in search of prey and shelter. Recently, a tigress was attacked with sticks and stabbed to death by a mob after it reportedly mauled nine villagers. In India, a general offense under the Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 carries a three-to-seven-year prison sentence along with a fine, but the laws are difficult to enforce despite the penalties. It's worth noting that tigers are categorized as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List.