Humans and large cats have circled one another for thousands of years. John Vaillant’s The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival rekindles the heat of this old relationship, and reminds us that a future for these animals demands not just our compassion, but our respect.
As the head of Inspection Tiger, a task force charged with enforcing poaching laws in the Russian taiga, Yuri Trush has confronted armed and desperate criminals alone in the woods, stumbled upon hunting accidents, and rescued lost humans from frozen Siberian winters. But what he found in the winter of ’97, in the wilderness of Primorye, has stayed with him: the lean remains of a man, freshly killed and eaten by a tiger. As Trush and his team investigate the killing, John Vaillant’s The Tiger—a true story—unspools into a tense and intricately researched telling of a few terrifying months in Sobolonye, a tiny settlement nestled deep in the taiga.