Siberian Tiger Quest
Sooyong Park Biography

park-bioAfter graduating from Seoul National University in 1990, Sooyong Park worked as a nature documentary Producer and Director for EBS(Educational Broadcasting System) in South Korea from 1991 to 2010. His programs have always focused on the wild Siberian tiger ‘Panthera tigris altaica’.

As a researcher and documentary film-maker, he has studied Siberian tigers for the past twenty years. His filming projects have covered areas such as the Maritime Province of Russia, Manchuria in China, the North Korean border with China, and Taebaek Mountains range in South Korea.

Sooyong Park has spent many months tracking Siberian tigers but also many months incarcerated in a hide, hoping to catch a glimpse of a tiger. Totally alone in the forests of far-eastern Russia, he has endured temperatures of -30 degrees Celsius and the most basic conditions, in an effort to capture this most elusive tiger on film.

Sooyong Park has recorded every moment of his search on film and shot over 1000 hours of material.

He has recently written a book ‘The Great Soul of Siberia’ about the Siberian tiger and has established his own small non-profit organisation, The Siberian Tiger Protection Society, whose main goal is to protect and conserve the remaining populations of Siberian tiger in far-eastern Russia, Manchuria and the Korean peninsula.

Sooyong Park hopes that his continuing research into tracking and studying these wild populations will give him the evidence he needs to gain greater support and protection for the small population of wild Siberian tigers that still exist.

Film credits:
“The Endangered Emperors of Siberia”
“The Elusive Siberian Tiger”
“The Wild Ussury Tiger”
“The Vanishing Amur Leopard”
“In the Tracks of the Korean Tiger”
“Tigers and Humans in China”
“Udeghe and the tiger, The Silence Trackers”
“Blood Exchange Project of the Isolated Wild Tiger”

Du Public, Jules Verns Film Festival, 2006, France
Excellence Prize, The 9th Tokyo Global Environmental Film Festival
The 11th ‘Best Producer of This Year’ in Korea
The Grand Prix, 26th Korean Broadcasting Awards
The Grand Prix, 32th Paek Sang Arts Awards
The Grand Prix, 1st Samsung Media Awards

  • Jeff Davis

    Nature is one of the best shows on PBS with the ones like “The Siberia Tiger Quest” and so many others. Thanks so very much for having some really good content while other stations\networks fall so short. Keep up the good work and thanks again.

  • Maribeth Dennis

    What an incredible dedication to filming these tigers! An amazing karmic adventure…. Thanks – namaste

  • Sandy Regli

    Thank you so much for this wonderful show. I stand in awe of people like Sooyong Park & Chris Morgan.
    Nature is really such an outstanding program. Thanks again!

  • Pearl K.

    The Siberia Tiger Quest – one of the best nature film I’ve watched. So sad to see such beautiful creatures being poached by greedy human beings.

  • Shawn Browning

    The region in which the Siberian Tiger inhabits, encompasses many rare species including the the Amur Leopard, among others. I hope this documentary enlightens people’s understanding of how precarious the lives of these rare apex predators are even in the most pristine and undisturbed lands. Rare hotspots like this, that provide habitat for animals only found there and no where else should be exempt from human encroachment. Once this region is altered and exploited all the rarity and beauty will be lost forever. We have witnessed continued decline of species in my time as well as human expansion throughout the world’s environments everywhere. The increasing urban perspective would allow these trends to continue and allow the natural world to be overtaken by human encroachment . The only reason the Siberian tiger has survived to this point is because there is little human interest in this region but mining, deforestation and human encroachment are changing this as I type. May we all be enabled to have the conscience to protect these sacred areas while we still have the chance to intervene.

  • kd

    how we donate to the conservation program run by Mr. Sooyong Park?

  • tom

    just watched the nature program with chris who spent some time preparing with sooyong park. incredible fiim scenery, but an equally incredible human effort by sooyong park to get the footage. an effort of isolation, xtreme patience, frigid climate, and reverance for an animal in danger of poaching, encroachment and all the other human caused issues. thanx to pbs for bringing viewers this program. but a humble thankyou to sooyong park (& chris) for the dedication to the siberian tiger.

  • Vicki Gautney

    Just watched “The Siberian Tiger Quest” on OPB and was deeply touched my the dedication of Sooyong Park. If this world had more people in it like him…what a different place it would be! I will be buying his book, “The Great Soul of Siberia”. It should be an amazing read!

  • Donna Ross

    Thank YOU so much Sooyoung Park for educating people on tigers and sacrificing your own life for the beautiful creatures. It brought tears to my eyes. I have a special place in my heart for tigers and would love to help more.

  • Dan F

    ‘Siberia Tiger Quest’ is another remarkable documentary coming out of Nature. I truly enjoyed how this film producer followed these beautiful creatures over 20 years under very difficult conditions. It simply illustrates the human ability to put aside personal needs in pursuit of something one strongly believes in. Love these types of documentaries!

  • Teresa Greasley

    How can we buy his book and support the The Siberian Tiger Protection Society?

  • Jim Corlett

    Fantastic photography! Thank you!!
    Once again, poaching is killing off an endangered species to supply ignorant Chinese folk doctors with material of no value whatsoever. Please write a protest to the Chinese Embassy and stop the slaughter.

  • Mia Shin

    Thank you for your selfless dedication to bring these beautiful wild creatures into the comfort of our living rooms, while you spent months out in the cold waiting to get a glimpse to share with us. Please let us know how we can support your research and also prevent the poaching of these wonderful beautiful animals we must respect and preserve. Mia Shin, Los Angeles, CA.

  • Novajean

    WOW….there are no words powerful enough to express the admiration and gratitude to Mr. Park and his family for his sacrifice to bring these beautiful creatures of GOD’s to our living rooms. There are very few people I have ever wanted to meet but Mr Park is most certainly one. God bless you!

  • Shirley McGreal

    I am also really interested in making a direct donation to the The Siberian Tiger Protection Society. Many large overseas groups raise money on mega-fauna but it does not always go directly to the animals, I am willing to sacrifice my tax-deduction to provide direct support for the amazing Sooyong Park’s organization. I cannot imagine living in a tiny cramped living space with three tigers on the collapsing roof. I cannot imagine his sorrow at losing some of the wonderful animals and being unable to help the cub with the injured paw. I also found very interesting his comments on the loneliness of spending months on end watching out for tigers. His footage was totally amazing. The world needs more Sooyong Parks – and less poachers and users of the medically useless products resuling from the grisly deaths of these magnificant beings. I’d also like to buy the book.

  • Shirley McGreal

    I would like to have contact details for the The Siberian Tiger Protection Society and information about how to get the book. Some of the big groups do raise funds for the mega-species but I’d like to be sure my donation would go directly to Sooyong Park’s project. Last night’s program was one of the best “Nature” programs I have ever seen. Sooyong Park is truly an amazing fearless man. It was so interesting to hear him tell about being confined in a tiny shelter with three tigers on the collapsing roof. I liked the discussion about the loneliness Mr. Park felt living for months on end with minimal shelter. I also felt for his sorrow when some of his beloved tigers died and when he could not help a tiger cub with a severe paw infection that took his life. The world needs more Sooyong Parks. It’s such a tragedy that a species is nearly wiped out to produce medically useless products. Shirley McGreal OBE

  • Ellen Perry

    Jim Corlett’s comment here is so right. Everyone, please protest to the Chinese Embassy — STOP the use of tigers in folk medicines! Ban the medicines immediately! And start educating the people of China about how very, very close to extinction these magnificent animals are. There is no excuse for a 21st century country to be encouraging such shameful poaching of Siberian tigers.

    This show was amazing, truly wonderful, but it may be one of the last we ever see with Siberian tigers in the wild if we don’t act now.

  • Sandy Snyder

    Soo Yong Park’s rare work is an inspiration. Would have enjoyed seeing more of his 1000 hours of film and hope NATURE will consider a sequel encompassing an interview with him alone with his favorite footage of his five-year sojourn. Thank you NATURE for all that you do and thank you CANON for your continued sponsorship.

  • Geovani

    hi, Park

    All I can say is Thank you so much for this film…i am really grateful for your endurance.

    I look at your organization online but it’s hard to tell witch one is yours.. it will be helpful to include a link here so we’ll know is the right one..i would like to put my grain of salt on this project….Hopefully you’ll help us help you.

    Thank you, thanks PBS for this film…

    and hopefully we’ll see a link to put out grain of salt..

  • Bryan F

    Mr. Park’s book is only available in Korean under ISBN 9788934954859.

  • Ken

    Thank you for the amazing work on this film.

    I too would like to support the Siberian Tiger Protection Society. Do they have a website?

  • John Vorel

    Totally blown away by the commitment and dedication of Park. The poaching has to stop! I am a former film maker and videographer. A student of nature and spiritually speaking I hold God creatures in a way that I can only liken to St. Fancis way… I have nothing but admiration for the angle which you approached this nature program. How Park almost became as important a story as all the collective tigers in all of Siberia…. I was fascinated by the approach you took not only of the tigers but Mr. Park himself. I humbley bow to you both and these too few remaining magnifient unique creatures that God made for his pleasure and ours. So tragic that the mindless killing of them is so blind and wiping them off the face of the earth. Blessed be God and his amazing creation. May God protect the remaining few so that future generations can also appreciate the gift.

  • Amy L

    Just wanted to comment on the film Siberian Tiger Quest.. Amazing Mr. Park what you went through living on Rice and Nuts , and also living the way you did to capture the most Amazing Video of the Siberian Tiger.. I Just wanted to say I could not leave my seat and I Thank You and Others whom help us Understand animals.. I Love Animals as well and when I go the Our Detroit area Metro Parks I rescue the raccoons that cannot get out of the Trash Cans, I make it part of my exercise routine.. If I see one in it I easily tip the can over and go the Opposite direction.. Even while I’m walking my Siberian Husky Kojak and Our Yellow Lab Gracie.. Honestly we should respect animals and animal cruelty laws should be tougher .

  • Brian Bare

    This show motivated interest in Park’s movies. Though the narration would be in Korean, I believe I would enjoy the images. But I cannot find his movies.

  • Carl

    Sooyong, your dedication is amazing. We are the same age and I can’t imagine enduring what you did. Thank you for your work. My wife and I were spellbound.

  • Karen Friedman

    Dear Sooyong: I so loved the PBS special recently aired on the Siberian tigers. You are amazing at your dedication and commitment to these amazing animals. I would very much like to find out more about your Siberian Tiger Protection Society as I cannot seem to find it on the web. I would also like to know how to purchase your book. I look forward to your owl special coming up next week. Have you published any other books? Thank you so much for letting us, the viewing audience, drink in your talent and steadfastness. I have a priceless photo I bought many years ago from Nat Geo of a Siberian tiger when, most probably, there quite a few more of them on the planet. I look forward to hearing from you or someone on your behalf as to my inquiries. Sincerely, Karen

  • Valerie Maslin

    Ion 10/23/12, I saw on Nature ” Siberian Tiger Quest” and was totally moved by these wonderful and beautiful creatures. that they brought tears to my eyes. Words alone cannot express my gratitude. How can I help to support you continued effort. Thank you

  • nancy v

    Sooyong I was humbled by your experience and dedication that I searched the internet to find a place where i could write to tell you Thank You for sharing your most awesome and touching real-life story. I was especially touched by your love for the Siberian Tigers. :)

  • nancy v

    Sooyong after watching the amazing and humbling story of your commitment and dedication through endurance and steadfastness for the Siberian Tiger, I had to come find a place on the internet where I could write a note of Thanks for allowing your story to be viewed and felt! Thank You!! I was moved, I was humbled by your story and experiences. Now I want to read your book! :) Your a great man!

  • nancy v

    Oh I’m saddened!! I can not find the book The Great Soul of Siberia anywhere!! Someone please tell me where I can get this book! I was looking forward to reading it!

  • grace

    I have been looking for his book, and ran across material which said that his book is only available in Korea under ISBN 9788934954859

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