Siberian Tiger Quest

blending in with the foliage instead of standing out against the snow. Precious few remain in the wild, each with vast territories that can cover over 1000 miles. Poachers set traps and kill tigers every year, leaving survivors ever more wary and skittish. With only self-taught knowledge to guide him, and no GPS collars to help him, Park followed tiger prey, the call of crows, tiger markings left behind on trees, and tracks in the snow. Learning to read tracks in the snow is known as learning “to read the white book.” It is a skill Park mastered, a skill that finally led him to the tigers. Then he set his cameras and hid himself away to wait. He waited months at a time, over and over again.

The tigers eventually appeared, as if by magic, and over the months and years, Park got to know individuals and their families. The first tiger he was able to film was a dominant male he named King Big. Measuring 10 feet nose to tail and weighing a quarter ton, King Big cautiously approached one camera but left quickly after discovering the hidden device. And then, by the light of a full moon, a female and her three cubs entered the snow-filled clearing in front of him. Park had been tracking her for years without ever actually seeing her. He called her Bloody Mary after her gruesome kill sites, and her cubs he named Sky White, Snow White and Moon White. They would become a kind of second family. But it would not be long before Bloody Mary was killed by a rifle trap set by a p

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