‘Killed In Front Of Me’: One Man Survives After Trio Crash Next To Wild Tigers In India, Saved By His Helmet

(Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

Andrew Jose Contributor
Font Size:

A 23-year-old man in India survived a tiger attack after a helmet he wore saved him from being mauled to death by the beasts he encountered.

The survivor, Vikas Kumar, and his two friends were riding a motorcycle through the jungles of Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, when his friend, who was driving the motorcycle, saw two tigers lying by the roadside, The Times of India reported.

Kumar was accompanied by 22-year-old Sonu Kumar and 35-year-old Kandhai Lal.

The trio then fell off the motorcycle after Sonu panicked and crashed, leaving them exposed to the wildcats relaxing by the side of the road. The beasts then attacked Vikas and his friends, killing Sonu and Kandhai within a few minutes. (RELATED: Brothers On Motorcycle Toss Cake At Leopard Chasing Them)

Thanks to the helmet he was wearing, Vikas managed to live through the ordeal. A tiger had grabbed him at first, but then, after giving his head a bite, it sprung back, surprised at the helmet’s hard exterior.

A tiger attacks a cow at the Wuhan Forest Safari Park on August 23, 2006 in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

A tiger attacks a cow at the Wuhan Forest Safari Park on August 23, 2006, in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

The moments that followed allowed Vikas to dart up the trees, where he remained the whole night. Kandhai was not lucky as Vikas. When he attempted to climb up a tree, the tigers pulled him down, Vikas recollected, according to The Times.

“I could hear his screams for a few seconds and then it stopped. Sonu was killed in front of me. I was extremely scared but gathered courage to jump onto another tree later. I didn’t move one bit, closed my eyes and started praying. I knew that if the tigers found my location they would kill me for sure. They are known to climb trees,” he said.

From atop the trees, Vikas witnessed the animals ripping apart Sonu and Kandhai, even eating one of them. Vikas then saw the animals take what remained of Kandhai deeper into the forests.

Local villagers spotted a chunk of Kandhai’s body the next day, The Times reported. Vikas was eventually rescued after a group of locals walking by in the morning heard him shouting towards them.

“We informed the police and forest department after we saw the man, frozen with fear almost and barely able to speak. A bike was lying nearby and next to it was a body. There were claw marks on the tree,” Rajendra Prasad, one of those who first encountered Vikas on the trees, told the newspaper.

Authorities have sent the corpses for an autopsy, and the incident is under investigation, Pilibhit police superintendent Kirit Kumar Rathod told ANI.

“We were warned about the tigers’ presence at the entrance of the forest, but decided to take the route anyway as we were in a hurry to reach home,” Vikas told The Times. “The tigers will always live in my head. I will hear them growl for the rest of my years on this earth,” he said.