There comes a moment during many an overambitious endeavour when things start to go a little wrong and you should probably turn back. Ignore it and you might find yourself dangling ignominiously from a tree branch as amused tourists film your defeat.  

This outsmarted cat is known to locals as Sharmili, and she's the dominant tigress of the Bijrani zone in India's Corbett National Park. Exactly how Sharmili found herself in this arboreal predicament is unclear, but it's likely the monkey bolted for the treetops to evade attack, and the feline followed suit.

Tree-climbing tigers might not be a common sight, but like most cats, the stripy predators are perfectly capable of the occasional ascent, especially when a meal is the potential reward. Primates are not a dietary staple, but these opportunistic predators will eat just about anything they can catch – unless the catching proves too tricky.  

The clip of Sharmili's ungainly descent was posted online by CORBETT WILD-VENTURES earlier this week, and it's since been shared hundreds of times on social media. Among the park's more high-profile felines, Sharmili is one of around 160 tigers that call this protected area home. 

Corbett National Park spans roughly 520 square kilometres in India's Uttarakhand state. The country's oldest national park, it was also the first to fall under Project Tiger, an initiative launched by the Indian government in the 1970s to protect Bengal tigers in their natural habitat. Today, the area is one of the last strongholds for these endangered cats.

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Top header image: Ian Duffy, Flickr