When you think of tigers you think of a steaming jungle — black stripes mimicking a tangle of branches and shadows, hiding one of the largest predators in the world.
Now place that creature on a white background of snow and it’s disconcerting and out of context. That’s the Siberian Tiger when it’s at home.
If you’ve ever seen a bear in the winter, it triggers a similar feeling — it’s unexpected and frightening to our northwestern sensibilities.
For those living in the forests of the eastern edge of Asia, the Siberian Tiger has been a part of their winter reality for many generations.
On April 21 author John Vaillant will present the free lecture, Ten Lessons from a Tiger at the Yukon Arts Centre. It will explore how the ancient relationship between humans and Siberian Tigers can illuminate how we interact with the natural world around us.
Like humans, tigers are apex predators with a strong sense of entitlement to their territory. In his latest book, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, Vaillant discovered that these intelligent animals have some things to teach us about diet, resource management, and getting along with others.
The Tiger took three years to research and write and included two extended trips to China and the Russian Far East, the last stronghold of the Siberian (Amur) Tiger.
In the course of his investigations, Vaillant interviewed biologists and hunters, poachers and wardens, conservationists and indigenous Russians, all of whom share their forest home with Amur Tigers, which can weigh up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms).
Vaillant was surprised to find that, rather than being seen as fearsome, alien beings, local Russians saw their tigers as being not all that different from them in terms of their basic needs and attitudes[SL1] .
Join John Vaillant as he distils into images and words the lessons humans have learned from tigers over two million years of co-evolution in the forests of Asia.
“Ten Lessons from a Tiger” takes place Sunday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Yukon Arts Centre. A book signing will follow.
This free lecture is being presented by Environment Yukon and the Yukon Science Institute. It complements the upcoming Environment Fair on May 10 and 11, which has the theme “Born to be Wild – Getting in Sync with Nature.” The fair takes place at the Canada Games Centre. For more information about this free, family-friendly and interactive event visit www.env.gov.yk.ca