It’s not every day that you see a wild cat family enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the wild – but that’s exactly what this trail camera captured in 2016.
A series of breathtaking photos from the Land of the Leopard national park in Primorsky Krai, Russia display a mother tiger and her two cubs relaxing on a sunny November day.
Conservationists only recently discovered the photos upon an annual park camera inspection.
The cubs can be seen playing with each other while their mother takes a well-deserved nap. Experts suspect that the tigress was exhausted from hunting all night. After some light wrestling, one of the tiger cubs can be seen batting at the camera until the memory card reportedly fell out of the device.
“These pictures are unique because they show not just a tiger walking by, but an entire episode from the life of a healthy tiger family,” said Yekaterina Blidchenko, Land of the Leopard research fellow and a zoologist at the Tiger Centre.
“The cubs are 4-5 months old; they cannot fully control their bodies yet too well, so it is very important for them to play such group games. It develops muscles and helps train them in hunting skills.”“However, first and foremost, it’s the social experience and the mother tigress is the first and main teacher. What we see here is the behavior of happy animals that have enough food and a tigress who has time to play with her cubs.”
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