Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Great Soul Of Siberia

Great Soul of Siberia: Passion, Obsession, and One Man's Quest for the World's Most Elusive TigerGreat Soul of Siberia: Passion, Obsession, and One Man's Quest for the World's Most Elusive Tiger by Sooyong Park
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel a little blind sided by this book. I have an interest in tigers so I thought I would read just a bit and see how I liked this guy’s research. turns out that “this guy” immersed himself in the study of this nearly extinct tiger. By the time I was interrupted, I’d become captivated by Bloody Mary and her cubs and was terrorized by her destruction of Park’s bunker. I tried to explain the book to my husband but realized I knew too many details that were important and gave up trying to explain it to him.

With a mere 350 Siberian tigers in the world, Sooyong concentrated his research on one family and her progeny. The reality is that they are highly elusive and it is highly unlikely one will ever actually see the animal. To increase his chances, Park spent the summer studying the land, the trees with food for ungulates, watching for pug marks or tiger trails, measuring the pads and strides, then carefully constructing very small bunkers within the earth then staying very still, very solitary, and very dark and watched with his cameras going.

Tiger activity was few and far between but what he captured and experienced is far more than any other researcher. He found relationships, nurturing, independence, and personalities of the tigers. There is far too much to express about what I loved about this book but the narrative naturally led to poachers. It was heart breaking. The tigers are faced with the natural enemy of the unforgiving landscape but then the encroaching civilization takes up the territory they used to claim. Then poachers illegally hunt the magnificent animal which has brought it nearly to extinction.

I loved the book. I am in awe of the Siberian tiger and also what the author sacrificed to capture so much knowledge and footage to share.

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