Rumble in the jungle: Mother bear fights off Indian tiger

Tourists on a wildlife safari in central India were treated to a rare and vicious fight for survival between a sloth bear defending its young and a huge Bengal tiger. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 March 2018
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Rumble in the jungle: Mother bear fights off Indian tiger

NEW DELHI: Tourists on a wildlife safari in central India were treated to a rare and vicious fight for survival between a sloth bear defending its young and a huge Bengal tiger.
The ferocious battle between the jungle giants was captured on film by a tour guide in Maharashtra who had a ringside seat to the 15-minute brawl as the mother fought off the predator.
Her instincts kicked into gear as the male tiger stalked her cub in Tadoba National Park, igniting a rarely seen flare of aggression from the shaggy black bears not known for being territorial.
Akshay Kumar, who filmed the clash as he guided tourists through the reserve last week, said the tiger attacked the bear for a full five minutes before the mother slowly got the upper hand.
“It went after the sloth bear, but she kept charging in order to protect her cub,” he said.
“It went on for 15 minutes. The tiger was roaring. It was a severe fight.”
The mother bear at one stage was pinned down in the tiger’s jaws, seemingly overpowered by her superior opponent, before managing to throw off her assailant.
Standing at full height on hind legs, the mother bear plunged back into the contest, relentlessly charging the big cat until it slunk away to cool off in a nearby pond, cowed and defeated.
The bears, including the cub which could do little but watch from the sidelines, disappeared into the scrub.
Kumar said both the animals were clearly injured during the fight.
India is home to more than half of the world’s tiger population with some 2,226 of the animals roaming its reserves, according to the last count in 2014.
Indian sloth bears — long kept as dancing pets for entertainment until the practice was outlawed — have distinctive long snouts and a white V pattern on their chest, and are still hunted by poachers.


Avengers assemble for final battle in ‘Endgame’

Updated 24 April 2019
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Avengers assemble for final battle in ‘Endgame’

  • “Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe
  • Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history

LOS ANGELES: After nearly two dozen films and billions of dollars in ticket sales around the globe, the Avengers are gearing up for a final time — and their last adventure could shatter all box office records.
“Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe, many of them the creations of late comic book legend Stan Lee.
It hits theaters this week — parts of Asia and Europe get the first view of the three-hour epic on Wednesday, and it gets its wide release in the US and Canada on Friday. Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history.
That would easily beat out the previous record holder, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the first part of the “Infinity Saga” — as it was dubbed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who has produced every single movie in the franchise — which opened in 2018 with $640.5 million.
After Monday’s star-studded world premiere in Hollywood, the six original Avengers celebrated the end of the road Tuesday at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) assembled for a final time with Feige at the TCL Chinese Theatre, where they signed blocks of cement and marked them with handprints.
“It’s been an amazing ride,” Ruffalo — who attempted a handstand while waiting for the cement to set — said of the 10-year project.
The 21 preceding films have earned about $19 billion globally, and though “Endgame” marks the end of the current narrative arc, Marvel Studios is far from through.

Even as they mark the end of what Johansson called a “wonderful” experience, Marvel Studios has already announced several new projects: in addition to sequels for “Spider-Man,” “Black Panther” and “Doctor Strange,” there will also be “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “The Eternals” and “Black Widow,” the second Marvel universe film to give a female character solo top billing.
“The fun thing about an ending is that you eventually get to do a new beginning,” Feige told AFP.
“So yes, there will be a new beginning, but right now, it’s about this combination of 22 movies. That’s what we’re most excited for.”
In preparation for the marvelous cinematic conclusion, “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo took to Twitter to post a letter to “the greatest fans in the world.”
“This is it,” they wrote. “This is the end. The end of an unprecedented narrative mosaic spanning eleven years and eleven franchises.”
They acknowledged the massive impact that the Avengers series has had on its fans, saying it was for “all of you who have been on this journey with us since the very beginning.”
Fans have been on the edge of their seats for the conclusion, and the cast has been notoriously tight-lipped during the press tour for fear of potential spoilers.
But someone couldn’t wait: on Sunday, five minutes of “Endgame” footage containing crucial plot points from the finale were anonymously posted online, prompting the Russo brothers’ letter.
The brothers concluded their message with an appeal: not to spoil the end of the movie.
“Remember,” the Russo brothers said, “Thanos still demands your silence. #DontSpoilTheEndgame.”