A passionate tiger mom guiding her kids isn’t uncommon, but a tiger dad is a completely different animal.
An Amur tiger dad guiding a female adult and three cubs across the snow was recorded by a camera set up by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in a remote Russian forest. Male tigers are often lonely creatures.
The group assembled the images, which were shot over a two-minute period, into a video that could be seen in order:
According to the WCS, the photos show that some male Amur tigers, commonly known as Siberian tigers, do engage in family life.
According to Dale Miquelle, the WCS’s Russia director, this is the first time such behavior has been photographed in the wild for Amur tigers.
“These photographs show a little vignette of Amur tigers’ social interactions and give an intriguing glimpse of life in the wild for these beautiful creatures,” he added.
The sight is extremely unusual, but capturing even one of the creatures on video is an achievement of itself. By the 1940s, hunting had nearly driven Amur tigers, an endangered species, to extinction. However, a concerted conservation effort and a restriction on foreign trading in their components have helped to boost their numbers. In the wild, there are around 450 Amur tigers, which the World Wildlife Fund believes to be stable for the time being.