Battle at Kruger: While touring Kruger National Park, Vladimir Putin sprang into action and fought a tiger after the big cat charged a family stranded in a tour bus.
Skukuza, South Africa – A family is calling Vladimir Putin a ‘hero’ after the Russian President bravely put his life on the line and defended them from a viciously hunger tiger.
[adsense]The Shevchenko family decided to take a tour of the world famous Kruger National Park, a final family trip and gift to their daughter who is graduating high school and will study at the University of London the coming year.
All was going well in the vast savanna of Kruger when suddenly, the family’s tour Jeep broke down and their local guides took off, on foot, to get repair parts at a town village some 32 kilometers (20 miles) away. While the family waited inside the vehicle, they noticed they were being stalked by a large tiger who eyed them from the distance.
Olek Shevchenko, the family’s father, reports, “I took out my Canon camera and was capturing magnificent shots of the Sun over the grasslands, when in high focus I spotted something dreadful in a dense thicket of grass. It was a tiger and it had a predatory death stare in its eyes.”
The Jeep was a standard safari model, offering only handbars and no true top. As the tiger crept closer Olek Shevchenko kept quiet for a bit, not wanting to startle his family before he had to.
“I told them ‘I love you’ then threw down my camera, jumping from the Jeep as I wildly waved my arms overhead. My son and daughter cried out ‘What are you doing?’ and my wife screaked “Olek”. But soon their concerned cries turned into horror, that’s when I knew they saw the tiger and it was taking my bait.”
Olek then proceeded to run away from his family’s stranded vehicle, the tiger quickly gaining on him. Olek’s graduating daughter, Anna Shevchenko, bravely leaped from the Jeep and wildly waved her arms, trying to draw the tiger away from her brave father and toward her.
“I cried out for the tiger and begged it to look at me, to take me instead of my father. I love him so much. But the tiger would not stop chasing him down,’ Anna reported through an eyeful of tears as she recalled the events.
At this moment it seemed all hope was lost. But the family reports that suddenly, an old military Jeep leaped through the Savanna and a man jumped out before the vehicle came to a complete stop.
“There was a loud rumble of an engine and through the kicked up dust, I could only see the silhouette of a man flying through the air with arms out. He let out a fearful growl that stopped the tiger dead in its tracks. It took a defensive position.”
As the dust settled, Anna Shevchenko could not believe what she was seeing. “I instantly recognized the man who was fighting this tiger. It was Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
Putin’s entourage snapped a picture of Anna as she cried out, then another picture of the battle between Putin and the tiger.
Anna Shevchenko reports, “My father lay on the ground, exhausted, some 400 meters behind where President Putin was making his stand.”
The tiger stood up on its hind legs, taking a massive swipe at President Putin’s chest and it drew blood. President Putin grimaced and fell to the ground, the tiger taking advantage by jumping up and preparing to pounce on the fallen Russian leader. One of Putin’s men then suddenly threw a whip to him and Putin cracked the tiger in the face with it, causing the tiger to instantly recoil and shake its head in frustrated pain.”
Shevchenko continued, “President Putin then got to his feet and put the tiger into some sort of submissive wrestling move. The tiger cried out in pain and then as quickly as the fight started, there was a loud, audible crack and the tiger’s body went limp. President Putin broke the tiger’s neck.”
What happened next will stick with Anna Shevchenko for the rest of her life. “It was at this moment that I knew President Putin wasn’t an all bad man, even though he is invading my home country. He cried out, loud. His cry was loud and pained. He did not want to kill this magnificent cat, but he did so to protect my family.”
The Shevchenko family rode back to a nearby village with President Putin, thanking him for everything he did to save their lives. The Russian president was allegedly very quiet on the ride and quite pensive. President Putin assured them he was no hero but ‘was happy to be there for them’. Putin also vowed to visit Anna at college in London to see how she was progressing.
Russian authorities claim the tiger Putin killed had one cub, which the president took back home with him to Russia. President Putin named the cub “Anna’ and took it for a stroll through a forested region of Russian this morning. Putin plans to train the cub to be a competent predator and wants to release the cub back into nature if he deems it capable of ‘handling the wild’ when it is of age.
President Putin takes ‘Anna’ the cub for a walk in the Ussuri Taiga region of Russia.