At Orsa-Björn Wildlife Park in central Sweden, Orsa, photographer Ingo Gerlach was lucky enough to witness this brutal cat fight.
While running a photo tour in the woods, which house kodiak brown bears, polar bears, european wolves and Siberian tigers, Ingo spotted these two cross tigers sloping out of the woods.
Mating among Siberian tigers is a serious matter, as poaching has put them near the point of extinction
The German photographer said: ‘The event happened on a snowy night and it was at least 50cm deep. The new snow was an excellent base for me to set up in the extensive park.
The Siberian tiger hides in the hilly Gelä Nde area in the upper part of the park. Wooden bridges lead to small lookout platforms from where you can see the tigers, if they show up well enough!
‘For a long time the tigers did not show up, but after about two hours of waiting two tigers came from a wooded corner of the enclosure.’
ven in a moment of aggression the animals are still starkly beautiful among the fluffy snow
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, were once spread across Russian, Northern China and the Korean peninsula, but poaching has driven the beautiful creatures to the brink of extinction.
Wasting no time the pair made a beeline for each before they both launched into a vicious attack.
Ingo said: ‘Suddenly the tigers started moving towards each other and at the same time they stood on the hind limbs and struck the front paws at each other.
He continued: ”As always when men are fighting, it is about the ladies! The stronger fights for dominance and will reproduce with the female’
‘Their violent threatening gestures at each other were impressive but the attack was short and violent, before the lower ranked male retreated.
‘As always when men are fighting, it is about the ladies! The stronger fights for dominance and will reproduce with the female.’
Despite being just metres from the action, Ingo had no doubt about his safety – even amongst these powerful cats.
He said: ‘There was no problem with danger for me – safety always prevail!’