Tigers brutally maul snowmen, look adorable in the processS

Siberian tigers — aka Amur tigers — are the largest cats alive on Earth. My favorite Siberian tiger description comes from nature journalist John Vaillant, who once characterized them as creatures that possess "the agility and appetite of the cat and the mass of an industrial refrigerator."

The video below shows what happened when four of these not-so-wee beasties discovered a group of snowmen in their enclosure at Longleat Safari Park. Bonus points go to park officials for stashing cameras inside the snowmen:

We know. Adorable, right? Cool — now that you've had your squee, go check out this true story of a man-eating tiger's "vengeance". Here's the upshot, in case you need persuading to go read:

At the center of the story is Vladimir Markov, a poacher who met a grisly end in the winter of 1997 after he shot and wounded a [siberian tiger], and then stole part of the tiger's kill.

The injured tiger hunted Markov down in a way that appears to be chillingly premeditated. The tiger staked out Markov's cabin, systematically destroyed anything that had Markov's scent on it, and then waited by the front door for Markov to come home.

Take home: trifle not with the Amur tiger.

[Guardian | NPR]