This is the dramatic moment four fearless Indian bison managed to avoid certain death by chasing a giant tiger away from their herd.
The chase: The group of Indian bison teamed up to frighten away their would-be killer at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in India
Praveen Siddannavar, 47, captured the stunning shots as the Indian bison, also known as gaurs, teamed up to frighten away their would-be killer at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in the Karnataka State of India.
On the prowl: The tiger was walking in the open, heading straight towards a water pipe where the group of bison were having a drink
The photographer, from Bangalore, says he looked on with amazement as the animals clashed near a water puddle – with the gaurs standing their ground before the tiger made a run for it.
On high alert: One of the gaurs picked up on the scent of the approaching tiger and made all the others aware of its presence
Speaking of the incident, Mr Siddannavar said: ‘I was enjoying a late afternoon drive and after scanning the forest and I drove to the sunset point on the backwaters of river Kabini that had gone completely dry due to poor monsoons’.
‘I was fortunate to spot a huge tiger resting underneath the shade of dried bamboo bushes,’ he added.
‘After a while the tiger started walking in the open and loud alarm calls were given by spotted deer and also the Sambar deer. The tiger ignored these calls and headed straight towards the culvert [water pipe] to cool himself in a puddle,’ he went on to say.
Mr Siddannavar said that a herd of gaurs were heading the same way to quench their thirst – a sight that ‘really excited’ him as he knew he was going to see some action. One of the gaurs then picked up on the scent of the tiger and they were all alerted.
‘The gaurs seemed uncomfortable upon seeing the tiger and decided to launch an offensive attack,’ the photographer said.
Not going easy: The gaurs were uncomfortable at the presence of the massive tiger and decided to launch an offensive attack
Running scared: As soon as the four Indian bison charged at their would-be killer, the tiger decided he wasn’t going to hang around
Filled with fear: The four bison chased the tiger, who seemed more interested in saving his own life than making a kill
Mr Siddannavar said the the entire herd of gaurs stormed towards the tiger, after first snorting aggressively. As soon as the animals charged, the photographer said, their would-be killer decided to run away.’
The photographer admitted he was stunned to see the tiger backing away from its prey and said the gaurs proved to be a formidable force.
‘What an unbelievable sight this was – I have never seen such action-packed drama before,’ Mr Siddannavar said.
‘Tigers are apex predators – meaning they are at the top of the food chain in the forest ecosystem,’ he added.
Great defence: Praveen Siddannavar said the the entire herd of gaurs stormed towards the tiger, after first snorting aggressively
Safe: After being chased away from the scene, the tiger went back to sheltering under the safety of dry bamboo trees
All in a day’s work: After seeing off the tiger, the gaurs wandered off into the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, in India’s Karnataka State
Mr Siddannavar said gaurs are not normally scared of other animals, but taking on a tiger showed particular unity, strength and bravery.
‘Tigers hunt gaurs regularly but it was amazing to see them working together – their strength lies in numbers and unity plays a key role in fending a tiger away,’ he said.
‘It really surprised me to see the tiger running away as tigers rarely back off as they are the kings of the jungles,’ he added.
‘But because it was a group of four gaurs and they attacked from all ends, the tiger had no option but to run away to save his life.’
Photographer: Praveen Siddannavar, 47, says he looked on with amazement as the animals clashed near a water puddle – with the gaurs standing their ground before the tiger made a run for it