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NATURE: Siberian Tiger Quest

Airs Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 8 p.m. & Sunday, July 28 at 4 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Raised in captivity, this adult male tiger is seen lying on a man-made lookout. As in the wild, he uses this high point to sit and watch across his territory. In the wild he would use cliffs, even large trees and hill tops in Victor Yudin's tiger neclosure, Spassk, Primorsky Krai, Russia.

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.

Meal times on the trail can be basic. Having to carry everything they will want during a day's hike Chris Morgan is seen here in tiger country, pouring a cup of tea for his companion, Korean filmmaker Sooyong Park.
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Above: Meal times on the trail can be basic. Having to carry everything they will want during a day's hike Chris Morgan is seen here in tiger country, pouring a cup of tea for his companion, Korean filmmaker Sooyong Park.

This adult female tiger was raised in captivity and is 19 years of age, an age that would be extremely rare in the wild in Victor Yudin's tiger neclosure, Spassk, Primorsky Krai, Russia.
Enlarge this image

Above: This adult female tiger was raised in captivity and is 19 years of age, an age that would be extremely rare in the wild in Victor Yudin's tiger neclosure, Spassk, Primorsky Krai, Russia.

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.

NATURE’s 2012 season premiere, "Siberian Tiger Quest," joins bear ecologist and conservationist, Chris Morgan, recently featured in NATURE’s "Bears of the Last Frontier," as he travels to Siberia to meet with and spend time with Park, retracing his daunting journey, and learning first hand just how hard it would be to replicate Park’s remarkable accomplishment.

Having tracked large predators in some of the wildest and most remote places on Earth, Morgan hopes to fulfill his own lifelong dream to find and film a Siberian tiger in the wild.

NATURE is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNature on Twitter. Chris Morgan Wildlife is on Facebook, and you can follow @MorganWildlife on Twitter.

Video

Preview: Nature: Siberian Tiger Quest

Watch Siberian Tiger Quest Preview on PBS. See more from Nature.

Above: 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 a Siberian tiger dynasty. Morgan spends time with Park, learning firsthand just how hard it was for him to achieve his remarkable accomplishment.

Video

Filming Wild Tigers

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Watch Filming Wild Tigers on PBS. See more from Nature.

Above: View footage of the first wild Siberian tiger that filmmaker Sooyong Park captured on camera in this scene from "Siberian Tiger Quest." Park spent more than five years searching for tigers in Russia’s north eastern forests. His technique was unconventional, but produced over a thousand hours of wild tiger footage that told the story of a three-generation tiger dynasty.

Video

Siberian Tiger Quest: Alone With Tigers

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Watch Alone with Tigers on PBS. See more from Nature.

Above: Filmmaker Sooyong Park spent more than five years searching for Siberian tigers in Russia’s north eastern forests. His technique was unconventional, but produced over a thousand hours of wild tiger footage that told the story of a three-generation tiger dynasty. In this scene from "Siberian Tiger Quest," Park discusses the emotional challenges that come with filming the natural world in extreme isolation for long periods of time.