A video of a tiger chasing down a motorcycle in India went viral last week, prompting some online users to question its authenticity.
In the short video, posted on Facebook by the Telangana state-based nonprofit Forests and Wildlife Protection Society on June 29, a tiger is seen charging out of the woods toward the motorcycle before running back into the trees on the other side of the road. The video has already racked up 1.4 million views.
The Forests and Wildlife Protection Society said the video was filmed by park rangers on patrol in Muthanga Wildlife Safari in the Wayanad district in Kerala state.
A Forests and Wildlife Protection Society spokesperson told the France 24 Observers that the tiger may have been "lying in wait" before barreling after the rangers.
Tigers are very careful about the way they use their energy. They would never waste their energy and strength by charging randomly at someone. It seems as though the tiger was lying in wait before charging, and it was an attack aimed at taking the two men off the motorcycle.
They were lucky that they were going fast enough to escape the tiger. They were probably driving at around 60 kilometres per hour. [Editor’s note: An adult male tiger can reach speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour.]
Several manipulated videos of encounters with animals have circulated online in recent years, including one of a man allegedly being chased by a bear.
But several details in the tiger video suggest that it is authentic, according to a report by the fact-checking website Snopes. The video was shared by what appears to be an established organisation, on a Facebook page with more than 13,000 likes, and not by anonymous accounts. The camera also maintains a steady shot on the tiger as it crosses the road, and does not rely on the shaky, indiscernible footage that is a common feature of manipulated videos.