Saved but caged

Steve Winter's Image

‘A poacher’s snare cost this six-month-old cub its right front leg and his freedom,’ explains Steve. The tiger’s leg had been so badly mangled that the vets were forced to amputate, condemning the tiger to a life of captivity. Steve wanted to capture this young tiger's expression to highlight its pain, fear and suffering.

Snares are often used by families to catch small deer and other animals for food. But they are indiscriminate and capture tiger cubs as well. Despite the millions of dollars spent on tiger conservation, these beautiful animals have a bleak future. Today, fewer than 3,200 tigers cling to life in small, isolated pockets of wilderness.

Behind the lens

Steve Winter

Steve became a National Geographic photojournalist in 1991 and specialises in photographing big cats. He lectures on photography and conservation issues, selling out venues from the Sydney Opera House in Australia to the Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Canada. He won the grand prize for Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2008.

Image details

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • 24–105mm lens at 58mm
  • 1/45 sec at f5.6
  • Aceh, Indonesia
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