We brought you the story of a tiger stalking and killing people in a remote part of Russia - a story which illustrates the perils facing tigers today. Tigers have been pushed to attacking poachers, who are either destitute people taking big risks to supply the burgeoning Asian market for tiger parts or Russia's nouveau riche seeking trophies. Anna Maria Tremonti spoke with tiger expert, John Vaillant. His book is called, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival.
We're going to bring you a story about a man and a beast - a hunter and his prey. And how one becomes the other. The man was a Russian - impoverished, disillusioned, and living in the Primorye region on the eastern edge of the country, closer to Beijing and even Australia than to Moscow. The beast was a massive Amur Tiger, with fangs the length of your finger, claws built like meat hooks, and weighing hundreds of kilos.
They met in the frigid winter of 1997, when Russians far from Moscow were still reeling from the fall of the Soviet Union - a time they called Katastroika. When John Vaillant stumbled on the story of this tiger ... and that man ... he saw a wider tale of how political change plays out in the lives of individuals, and affects even the land they call home. His books is called, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival. John Vaillant was in Calgary.