The moment a pregnant tiger’s hormones took over and allowed a tiny fawn to live!
The tiger and fawn played together for around half an hour before the carnivore let the baby deer go
Tiger had no interest in eating what would normally be its prey, and only wanted to play
Photos captured by amateur photographer Pawan Menon while on safari in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, central India
The baby deer might have been saved by maternal instinct - as the tiger was pregnant, and showed absolutely no interest in turning it into a meal.
The photos show the two unlikely friends running together for around half an hour through the trees and long grass in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, central India.
They were taken by amateur photographer Pawan Menon, 46, from Kerala, who is a call centre worker by trade, but was lucky enough to stumble across this rare event while on safari.
‘It was early morning when I was roaming with a friend in the jungle scouting for tigers. Suddenly I noticed one. At first, I thought she was playing alone but then I spotted the tiny fawn by her side,’ he said.
'It was the most astonishing thing to see. I felt my heart beating fast as I was certain it was the end for the fawn. But the tiger sat calmly and played with the baby.’
Even though the tiger was in no mood to eat, the fawn was still visibly frightened. Mr Menon said it even made an attempt to run but the tiger caught it, carried it gently in its mouth and took it back to the spot they were sitting.
'The two were together for half an hour playing, running and jumping. Then the tiger gently carried the fawn by its neck - as it would carry its own cub - and eventually started nudging it to run away,’ he added.
'It was unbelievable. I’m sure the fawn couldn’t believe he was still alive as he ran off! But the fascinating episode restored my belief - wild animals only kill when they’re hungry.’
adoptpets: What a wonderful story. Cats are wonderful mothers. It kind of reminds me of the lioness who adopted the baby oryx in Kenya. Heart of a Lioness is such a wonderful documentary and you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLo9-PEtM8Q
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