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Science Wednesdays: Siberian Tiger Quest

Tue, 07/23/2013 - 9:32am -- WCVE

Conservation ecologist Chris Morgan (“Bears of the Last Frontier”) has tracked large predators in some of the wildest and most remote places on earth. He now embarks on a challenge that will fulfill a lifelong dream — to find and film a Siberian tiger living wild and free in Russia’s far eastern forests.

The film features the work of Korean cameraman Sooyong Park, the first individual ever to film Siberian tigers in the wild. Park spent years in the forest tracking and filming the world’s biggest cat. Park’s tracking technique was unconventional, but produced more than a thousand hours of wild tiger footage and captured the saga of the Siberian tiger. Morgan spends time with Park, learning firsthand just how hard it was for him to achieve his remarkable accomplishment.

Watch Nature: Siberian Tiger Quest July 24 at 8:00 p.m. on WCVE PBS/WHTJ PBS

Hunted almost to extinction, the last wild Siberian tigers can only be found in the forests of the far eastern Russian frontier – but not easily. And they had never been filmed in the wild, until one man went to new extremes in order to succeed where all others had failed.  Filmmaker Sooyong Park left friends and family in Korea to spend more than five years alone in the wild, confined for months in tiny pits in the ground or 4-foot hides in trees, watching and waiting for even a glimpse of the elusive creatures. Then, in 2005, after incomprehensible hardship and devotion to his task, Park emerged from the frozen forests with over a thousand extraordinary hours of wild tiger footage that told the story of three generations of a Russian tiger dynasty.