A woman who fought off a tiger with her bare hands to save her 15-month-old son in Madhya Pradesh has drawn wide admiration for her incredible courage. The tiger escaped but was driven out of the village by forest guards and elephants.
On Sunday night, Archana Choudhary, 25, stepped out of her home as her son wanted to relieve himself. A tiger, believed to have strayed from the nearby Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, was hiding in the fields and attacked them.
The tiger held the child in its jaws, but the mother fought the animal and screamed, trying to alert villagers. The tiger tried to snatch the boy but Archana refused to let go. Villagers finally came rushing to the spot on hearing the mother's screams.
The tiger fled into the forest.
Archana's home is located in the buffer zone of the tiger reserve and the National Park.
The young mother suffered punctured lungs and wounds all over her body. The child has deep gashes on his head and back.
Both the woman and her son are recovering in hospital and are said to be out of danger.
"She is out of danger and recovering. The baby is also doing fine," local official, Sanjeev Shrivastava, told AFP.
The attack led to an intense search for the tiger; villagers were told to stay indoors at night.
The tiger left the village after three days because of intense patrolling by forest guards on elephants and the staff of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve.
"Three of our trained elephants were pressed into action with mahouts but it took around six to seven hours to finally drive the tiger out of the village.
India is home to around 70 percent of the world's tigers.
Nearly 225 people were killed in tiger attacks between 2014 and 2019 in India, according to government figures.
More than 200 tigers were killed by poachers or electrocution between 2012 and 2018, the data showed.