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Rare Siberian tiger ‘selfie’ pictures are released

Siberian tigers in the Land of the Leopard national park, Siberia (July 2017)Image copyright Land of the Leopard national park
Image caption The images capture the rare wild cats at play in the wilds of Siberia

Intimate photos of rare Siberian tigers in the remote Russian far east have been released by the Land of the Leopard national park.

The tiger family are seen play-fighting, at one point seemingly posing for the camera.

There are estimated to be about 22 adult Siberian tigers and seven cubs in the park, which spans 260,000 hectares.

Poachers at one point hunted the species close to extinction but their numbers are now recovering.

The Land of the Leopard (in Russian) says the pictures, filmed by a ground-level automatic camera, are the first time the family life of the animals has been so vividly recorded.

Image copyright Land of the Leopard national park
Image caption Experts say the images provide a rare insight into the family lives of Siberian tigers
Image copyright Land of the Leopard national park
Image caption The cubs’ mother, also known as T7F is well known to scientists monitoring the Siberian tiger population
Image copyright Land of the Leopard national park
Image caption The set of images were brought to an abrupt end by an inquisitive cub who knocked the memory card out of the camera

The cameras were set up by rangers in the park to monitor the tigers and equally endangered leopards, The Siberian Times reported.

The video and still footage captures cubs rolling around in woodland, at one point being disciplined by their mother.

She has been seen before, and is known as T7F to scientists monitoring the Siberian tiger population.

She was filmed in 2014 with three cubs, two of which are now believed to have grown up and moved from Siberia into neighbouring China.

In another image one of the cubs is seen approaching the camera trap and barging into it – causing the memory card to fall out and bringing an end to the picture show.

The Land of the Leopard national park is in the south-western part of Russia’s far eastern Primorsky Krai Province


The Siberian tiger

  • Also know as the Amur tiger, its natural habitat is in Russia, where a weak economy continues to put them in danger
  • Although hunting them is strictly forbidden in Russia, poorly equipped and underpaid wildlife rangers are struggling to stop poachers
  • Their population declined to only 20 to 30 animals in the 1930s when the species was on the verge of extinction
  • Today, there are estimated to be about 600 Siberian tigers in the wilds of Siberia

Source: WWF


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