This tribal youth in Madhya Pradesh's Seoni district will always owe his life to his pet dog - who distracted an attacking tiger long enough for other villagers to come to his aid and drive away the marauding big cat.
Pancham Gajbe, 22, his brother and the dog were returning from the forest near Paraspani Madhya Pradesh on Saturday and as they crossed a row of dense bushes, the tiger, who was there, suddenly jumped at Gajbe.
Trying to defend himself, Gajbe took a heavy blow on his arm and partly on his head but was helped by the dog, whose barking stopped the tiger from going for his throat. Meanwhile, Gajbe's brother shouted for help and as the villagers arrived with arms, the tiger slipped back into the forest.
"I had a near-death experience... The tiger stood over me, but before it could get at my throat, the dog started barking. This made the tiger step back and stand still for a while as it got distracted..." Gajbe said. And then the clamour of the villagers approach led the tiger to retreat.
Gajbe, who was profusely bleeding from deep cuts on his arm and head, was rushed to a hospital and is now recovering, said Divisional Forest Officer T.S. Suliya.
Forest officials have advised people not to venture into the forests since attacks by wild animals are not uncommon.
Forests near Seoni and Chhindwara around the Pench National Park, known for its rich fauna, particularly the Bengal tiger, draw substantial tourist traffic from all over the country.
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