Hero Mom Fights Tiger With Bare Hands to Save 15-Month-Old Son
Here is what happened to the brave woman, and her baby.
A woman in India saved her baby's life after fighting off a tiger that attacked the child, biting it on the head. Archana Chaudhary, 25, kicked and punched the tiger until it let 15-month-old Rajveer go, despite being mauled by the wild beast. Even while the tiger's claws were puncturing her lungs, Chaudhary screamed for help until local villagers heard her. Here is what happened to the brave woman, and her baby.
The terrifying incident happened on the outskirts of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, in Madhya Pradesh, India. According to Chaudhary's husband Bhola, the tiger was attempting to leave with baby Rajveer when his wife fought back. "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."
The tiger didn't give up easily—it kept trying to get around Chaudhary to get to the baby, attacking her repeatedly. Chaudhary defended her baby and continued screaming and fighting back, sustaining multiple injuries while attempting to keep the tiger away. Villagers heard Chaudhary's screams and ran to her aid, beating the tiger off with sticks. After a while it clearly decided the fight wasn't worth it and ran back into the reserve.
Both Chaudhary and her son are being treated for serious injuries—Rajveer had bite injuries on his head and Chaudhary has punctured lungs and wounds to her abdomen. Thankfully both mother and baby are expected to survive. A hunt is underway for the man-eating tiger, in order to drive it away from the village and deeper into the reserve where it belongs.
Tiger attacks in India are on the rise due to an increase in the tiger population, and humans expanding into tiger territory. Raghunath Surtikar was grazing his cattle near his village in the Chandrapur region of India when he was attacked by a Bengal tiger. "I couldn't comprehend. It came directly toward me," he told CBC News. "I was petrified. My first thought was: 'Either eat me or leave me.'" Surtikar lifted his right arm as the tiger attacked, which he thinks saved his life. "Otherwise, I would not have survived," he says.
Surtikar is lucky—between 30 and 40 people are killed by tigers every year in the Chandrapur region, which is home to the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. "Every inch of land in Chandrapur district is tiger-bearing land," says Dr. Jitendra Ramgaokar, veterinarian and field director of the Reserve. "It's not a situation where you can co-exist with such a large predator."
"Nobody can walk out on the streets after dark," says local villager Shubanji Tijale, 25, who has a two-year-old son. "That's when the tigers and bears come."