Take a look at these beautiful images of an Amur tiger family. These pictures of a “tiger dad,” followed by a female and three cubs in the wild are unbelievably rare, especially since adult males are usually solitary creatures.
The Wildlife Conservation Society just posted the images on its Facebook page and to YouTube. They are the work of the society’s Russia Program, in partnership with the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve and Udegeiskaya Legenda National Park.
Scientists say this is a first in terms of photographing this behaviour.
“This is the first time such behavior has been photographed for Amur tigers in the wild,” the society’s Russia director Dr. Dale Miquelle said in a statement. “These photos provide a small vignette of social interactions of Amur tigers, and provide an evocative snapshot of life in the wild for these magnificent animals.”
Wildlife officials put together a slide show compiled from 21 photographs captured by a motion sensor camera. It shows the entire family of tigers over the span of two minutes as they pass by the camera trap.
“We have collected hundreds of photos of tigers over the years, but this is the first time we have recorded a family together. These images confirm that male Amur tigers do participate in family life, at least occasionally, and we were lucky enough to capture one such moment,” Svetlana Soutyrina, who is deputy director for scientific programs at the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, said in a statement.
The world’s population is pegged at perhaps 400 Amur tigers, the majority in Russia and a few along the border areas of China. The species once roamed over a huge region, but development and hunted decimated the population. There were only about 40 Amur tigers left in the world by the 1940s. But Russia has been spearheading efforts to protect the species.
Photos Wildlife Conservation Society/Facebook