East of Siberia: A Long Walk Through Leopard Country

What happens when last-minute invitation to give a talk at a conference arrives when you’re deep in the wilderness

Credit: Jonathan C. Slaght

By noon — about five hours after I’d left camp — the forest yielded to field. The moisture had nowhere to hide from the hot sun here as it did in the dense understory, so the muddy track abruptly morphed to a dusty road.

Tiger tracks in the mud. Credit: Jonathan C. Slaght

I regarded myself through the lens of this stranger: unshaven from weeks in the forest, sweaty, mud-caked from the knees down and mud-speckled everywhere else.

WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

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