Wildlife photographer Sascha Fonseca turned his passion for animals into a career in 2013, now he specializes in DSLR camera traps.
The Dubai-based, German born photographer proved the ability of these traps recently when he captured these stunning images of a rare Siberian tiger in the wild.
The Siberian tiger is critically endangered and their population in the wild is only around 500.
Fonesca set up his camera trap in Russia’s eastern birch forests, which is where most of these tigers reside.
“Camera traps allow me to capture close-up images of secretive wildlife which I would otherwise not be able to get,” Fonseca told My Modern Met.
“Tigers are mostly nocturnal which means they are active mostly during the night. You could spend months or even years staked out and not capture a single image. Camera traps can.”
“This is more than strapping a trail camera to a tree. It’s basically like setting up a studio in nature.”
It is certainly more difficult than it looks to get a great photo, but thanks to Fonesca’s great work, he was able to get footage of an undocumented male Siberian tiger.
Researchers even allowed Fonesca to name the stunning big cat, as a sort of gift for discovering him, he chose the name Leo.
“It’s a special honor and it connects you with the animal on a personal level.”
Here’s a video from the second camera showing the tiger walking into frame:
Fonesca hopes that his work will help people connect with and understand the struggle that the critically endangered Siberian and Amur tigers are facing.
“Only 3-4% of the area of an Amur tiger’s range are protected by wildlife reserves and national parks. In addition, Siberian tigers are poached for their fur and for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicines.”
“The very fact that there are wild Siberian tigers in the world today is something of a miracle. The Siberian tiger and its ecosystem are in urgent need of support and protection to ensure their survival.”