Sundarbans Tiger Reserve, India, February 19, 2008A female tiger leaps off a boat on the Sundarikati River on Tuesday after being rescued from frightened villagers who had stoned and beaten the animal.
The pregnant Bengal tiger had wandered nearly 19 miles (30 kilometers) out of the reserve's mangrove forests and into a village bordering the park, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of Kolkata (Calcutta).
Crowds throwing stones and burning sticks chased the rare animal up a date palm tree, where it was eventually tranquilized and captured by forest guards.
After nursing the big cat's wounds, guards released the tiger back into the park, one of the few natural tiger habitats left in India. Only about 1,400 Bengal tigers exist in the wild, according to a report released last week by the Indian government.