Chapter

A Tiger East of the Sun

Joel Berger

in The Better to Eat You With

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226043630
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226043647 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226043647.003.0009
A Tiger East of the Sun

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The Russian Far East is the northernmost home of the tiger. These specialized carnivores stride across white sands lining the Sea of Japan. They consume seal, and they live in deep snow where temperatures plummet to −40°F. In the Russian Far East, as throughout Europe, elk are known as red deer. In Russian they are called ilch or izubar. Large bruins with a dish-shaped face and a well-defined hump are grizzly bears to Canadians and Americans but brown bears to everyone else. In Russian, the word is medveeyet. Like elk and brown bears, moose, too, are Holarctic in distribution. The same species occurs from Mongolia and Manchuria to Europe and throughout boreal North America. In Europe and Scandinavia, moose are called “elk.” In Russia they are moose, the local word being los. It was the ilch (elk) and los (moose) that lured the author to the Sikhote–Alin Mountains, an area once hunted by the Chinese, by the Ainu of Japan, and more recently, by Dersu Uzala.

Keywords: Russian Far East; tigers; predators; elk; moose; grizzly bears; brown bears; Sikhote–Alin Mountains; Ainu; Dersu Uzala

Chapter.  9396 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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