East of Siberia: Tigers and the Art of Persuasion

A Scottish veterinarian recounts an uncomfortably close encounter with a very big cat

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A lush river bottom in Primorye, Russia. Credit: Jonathan Slaght WCS Russia

Most human-tiger interactions in Russia are one-sided. Given the dense understory and a tiger’s near-magical skill of self-concealment, the human usually never knows the tiger was even there.

Martin looked across the creek and saw flashes of a striped juggernaut crashing toward him downslope, birch trees swaying in its wake. The belly roar these animals produce pokes a primitive corner of the brain to produce an instant understanding that this is no drill.

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