Adorable moment tiger spares deer and plays with it

This is the adorable moment a tiger spared a baby deer’s life – instead opting to PLAY with it.

Tiger playing the baby deer

The incredible moment a tiger was seen playing with a baby deer

The joyful cat was seen jumping next to the deer, patting it and even carrying it in her mouth like a cub.

Tiger playing the baby deer

The tiger seemed to defy its predatory instincts to pat the tiny creature

Photographer Souvik Kundu captured the scenes at the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, India.

Tiger playing the baby deer

The tiger was even seen carrying it in its mouth but it remained unarmed

The expectation amongst the crowd was that the feline would swiftly kill the deer and devour it.

Tiger playing the baby deer

After the tiger had played with the youngster, it then later let it go free

But instead the gentle animal tenderly played with the deer before leaving it unharmed and carrying on with her day.

Snapper Souvik said: “When she slowly emerged from cover we were astonished to find she was playing with a hapless spotted deer fawn.

“The tigress seemed to be in a playful mood, jumping around in excitement.”

After playing for about 15 minutes the tiger retreated, leaving the deer to rest in the grass.

Having snapped the events, Souvik, 35, from Mumbai, named the series ‘The Benevolent Queen’ due to the tiger’s caring nature.

He added: “I’m still not sure why the tigress did not prey on the little deer when the chance presented and acted so unnaturally.

“One probable explanation is the tigress was in search for a mate and her urge for motherhood temporarily overcame predatory instinct.

“As a result she had confused the fawn for her own offspring.”