Adult Tiger Hunts a Huge Sloth Bear and Instantly Rethinks Everything

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: October 21, 2023

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huge sloth bear
© Martin Mecnarowski/

In theory, an adult tiger should be able to beat a bear in a fight but the sloth bear in this short clip clearly didn’t get the memo! This guy has a serious attitude and soon shows the tiger who is the boss. The magnificent apex predator knows that they are beaten and backs off pretty quickly.

We see the tiger trotting back into the trees with the sloth bear in hot pursuit!

Tiger Hunting Techniques

The unfortunate tiger in this video has seriously misjudged the situation. If you look closely at the start of the video, you can see them adopting a classic tiger-hunting strategy.

They are using stealth to creep up on their prey and the plan is to deliver a killing bite to the neck. To be fair to the tiger, this seems to be working initially because the bear seems to be completely unaware of their presence.

However, as soon as the tiger places a paw on the bear’s back, the situation changes. The bear immediately rears up onto their back legs and gives chase! Tigers will not normally try to hunt an adult bear but have been known to eat bear cubs.

Sloth Bears Can Be Aggressive

With a name like Sloth Bears, you would expect this bear species to be extremely laid back and slow just like sloths. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Sloths are not quite as harmless as you may imagine. They have very strong claws that are also sharp and so does the bear that is named after them. These claws can cause very serious injuries – even to a tiger.

Sloth bears can also be very aggressive and are responsible for more human deaths than any other bear. They can weigh up to 300 pounds and can grow to a height of over six feet. When they feel threatened, they will stand up and roar and use their claws to defend themselves.

You don’t have to be concerned for the safety of the tiger in this vid though. Tigers can reach around 40 mph which is about twice as fast as the bear. It’s likely that the bear soon gave up the chase and went back to looking for food which is what bears like doing the most!

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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