Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wait and Watch II


There is a Korean man that was sent by the education department of the Korean government to Northeastern Siberia to film educational nature videos.  How he interpreted this request in practice was to spend up to seven months at a time enclosed in small holes in the ground or on elevated platforms waiting to film Siberian tigers in their natural habitat.  Which he did, beautifully.  That no such footage was in existence previously is an indication of the elusiveness of these animals.  That there were times he waited for three or more months before seeing one is some kind of testament to patience, endurance, and the ability to wait and watch.  Is he crazy? A xenophobe? A recluse? No, in interviews he talks of the struggle to stay, his longing for the company of other people, how he missed his family.  Whatever the reason, his personal struggle and fortitude have given the world the best glimpse into the lives of these enormous and beautiful creatures, which is good, because of the handful or so of tigers he was able to find, at least two of them were killed by poachers before he finished the project.  If habitat encroachment and climate change are not doing enough to drive this dominant species to extinction, human greed will get the job done.  Perhaps we should take to heart the great lengths these cats have gone to avoid humans in modern times, and unless we are willing to simply wait and watch, we should leave them alone.

To watch a Nature documentary on the Tigers and see the footage:

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