Saturday, December 4, 2010

Easy Tiger.

Siberian Tiger | Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Russia

A few years ago (1999 to be exact) I took a big chance. I received the opportunity to work overseas, and I took it. Never having flown before, I wound up spending 2 months in eastern Russia working for a wildlife conservation organization. I was there to trap asiatic black bears as part of a population density study. For the first two weeks, as we prepared for the bear study, I got to assist on the Siberian Tiger project. Tiger populations were (and still are) in an extremely fragile state (endangered, and as of 2009 an estimated population of ~500, worldwide tiger populations are as low as 3200).

At the time, I had a camera with me, but I was pretty horrible about not using it. I found a box of slides this week and decided to see what it held. This is my favorite shot of the bunch. I really need to dig up the rest. I think I have 10 or 15 more rolls to sift through at some point (or when I remember where they are).

Anyway, Russia has been on my mind lately. The friends I made, the people I met, and the experiences I had will never be forgotten, photos or no photos. To spend 2 months in one of the most beautiful places in the world was an eye-opener for me in many ways. It was on that trip that I decided to take a break from the Wildlife career and pursue more creative interests. So here I am, with a few boxes of slides, a bunch of weird stories, and many new chances to be taken.

And, I hope my little bit of time there may have helped the tigers in some way. They helped me, that's for damn sure.

Save Tigers Now

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