Japanese photographer speaks about encounters with Amur tigers

Japanese photographer speaks about encounters with Amur tigers

2 February 2017

Renowned wildlife photographer Toshiji Fukuda came to Moscow for the opening of his photo exhibition, which is part of the Russia’s Primeval Nature festival.


During his visit on 22 January, the photographer gave a lecture for festival guests where he spoke about his almost 30 years of experience photographing the nature of the Russian Far East and its wildlife, including the Amur tiger. Fukuda managed to photograph an Amur tiger in the Primorye Territory, in Opasnaya Cove, located 500 km from Japan.  


The photographer spent 74 days in a 3.5-square meter tiny hut that he and his Russian colleague built in a hole they dug into a steep slope to get the pictures. “It felt like a tiny prison cell,” Fukuda said. “We (with Vladimir Medvedev, -ed.) both felt like we had been sentenced for an entire winter to this prison. To protect ourselves from a tiger attack, we built an electric fence of 9,000V around our hut.”


Toshiji Fukuda told the audience that it was much more difficult to take a photo of a tiger than of a leopard. “ Each Amur tiger requires a much larger territory than a Far Eastern leopard, and tigers are much more cautious and focused on self-preservation than leopards. The Amur tiger’s coat colour makes it even more difficult to spot in the taiga,” he said.


Enamoured of divine nature of Russia’s Far East, the photographer praised Russia’s role in protecting Amur tigers. “I am very happy that the Amur tiger population in Russia is growing and that they live in nature reserves and breed. I greatly appreciate what Russia does for Amur tigers,” Fukuda said.


Video of the lecture can be found on the website of the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation. 

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