Sloth Bear Stands Tall Against Two Adult Siberian Tigers

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 18, 2023
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The Ranthambor National Park is one of the biggest national parks in Northern India and is found in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, around 130 km from Jaipur. It is home to a huge variety of mammals, birds and reptiles and has seen its fair share of confrontations between species. However, this footage of a sloth bear standing up to two adult Siberian tigers is on another level. It has already attracted over 12 and a half million viewers!

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Can Sloth Bears Take on Tigers?

Who should win this encounter in theory? In general, tigers are larger than sloth bears, they grow up to 12 foot long but the animals in this fight are more evenly matched in size. In terms of speed, tigers are much faster and have a greater sensory advantage.

However, sloth bears are known for being aggressive – they kill more humans than any other bear. They display aggression by standing on their hind legs and roaring – just like the bear in this video. Sloth bears have tough bodies that can withstand a lot of punishment and huge claws that could cause a lot of damage to a tiger. These claws are thick and curved and are about three inches long. They are used to pinch out ants and termites as well as to fight off predators.  

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A Sloth Bear and Tiger Encounter in Real Life

To be fair to the sloth bear in this video, they are simply minding their own business! One of the tigers approaches and you could argue that they are asking for trouble! And trouble is exactly what they get. The bear initially walks off but the tiger follows and the bear suddenly turns. They lunge forward and chase the tiger who is forced to fall back and seek support from his companion with the bear bounding after him.

The plucky bear is not bothered about being outnumbered either! They continue to pursue the tigers even though the tigers appear to be retreating. Eventually, the bear gives up and trots away from the scene. Job done!

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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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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