Siberian tigers are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. These majestic predators are on many a wildlife photographer’s to-capture list, but their solitary nature makes them incredibly hard to spot in the wild.

Wildlife photographer Ingo Gerlach recently traveled to a remote area of Sweden that is known to have a small population of tigers, as well as polar bears, brown bears and wolves. He hoped to photograph all of these species in their natural habitat, but what he really wanted to see and photograph was the magnificent Siberian tiger.

Ingo set off into the wild. Would he spot one of these elusive creatures? Ingo wasn’t sure. What happened when he climbed on to a secure viewing platform deep in the snowy forest would stun him to his core. Here is his incredible story.

Male Siberian tigers are solitary animals. They tend to stay away from one another in the wild, preferring to roam their vast territories looking for food such as deer, cattle and even bears.

Female Siberian tigers who are not with cubs are ready to mate at all times of the year. They leave their scent on trees and rocks. This attracts the attention of all male tigers in the area, who follow the scent trails back to the female.

If two male Siberian tigers follow the scent of a female and encounter one another, they will inevitably fight. This is what German photographer Ingo Gerlach was lucky enough to witness during his recent visit to the Orsa-Björn Wildlife Park in Sweden.