Man Comes Home to Find a Massive Tiger Snoozing on His Bed

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Royal Bengal tiger laying on person's bed.
A royal Bengal tiger found her way into a man's home last week — and made herself comfortable. Wildlife Trust of India

No one likes to come home to neighbors screaming and pointing at your doorway.

That would suggest something is amiss.

And, indeed, when a man identified only as Motilal peered inside his village home in northeastern India earlier last week, he realized the neighbors' concerns were somewhat justified.

There was, after all, a royal Bengal tiger napping on his bed.

The adult female was likely seeking shelter from nearby Kaziranga National Park, where monsoons had submerged an estimated 70 percent of the land area.

But what to do about the massive tiger sprawled on Motilal's bed? As anyone with a wildlife issue should do, he dialed the local wildlife authority.

You can probably imagine the response: Stay put. Do not go into the house. We'll be there shortly.

And sure enough, a team from the conservation group Wildlife Trust of India soon found their way to the village in the northeastern state of Assam.

They tranquilized the tiger to keep her calm until nightfall, when they woke her up with firecrackers, according to tweets from the organization. Then they ensured the nearby highway was clear for her to cross, ultimately making sure the tiger was back on dry ground in the forest that night.

"She was very exhausted and had a nice day-long nap," Rathin Barman, the wildlife biologist who led the operation, told the BBC. "The great thing was that nobody disturbed her so she could rest. There's a lot of respect for wildlife in this region."

A Royal Bengal tiger sleeping on a man's bed.
The exhausted animal had fallen asleep with her head resting on her arm. Wildlife Trust of India

These days, there's also a lot of compassion for fellow victims in a region wracked by monsoons. Indeed, the country's northeast, as well as Nepal and Bangladesh, have been hit particularly hard by heavy rains this year. So far, at least 150 people are reported dead in northeastern India alone, as well as hundreds of animals, many of them from Kaziranga National Park.

Assam is particularly vulnerable to summer monsoons, with peak rainfall reaching nearly three inches per hour. That's enough to incite the Brahmaputra River to overwhelm its forested embankments.

This tiger, who had been spotted earlier crossing a national highway, was likely among droves of animals fleeing the forest for higher ground in the hills. She just happened to find an open door and an empty bed to ride out the floods in comfort.

And, as for Motilal — his bed being certified tiger-free — he, too could finally get some rest. But not without a certain fond recollection of the time he entertained the most unexpected of guest.

"[He] says he will preserve the bed sheet and pillow on which the tiger rested," Barman told the BBC.