A photo of a Russian tiger as beautiful as it is rare has earned the shutterbug behind the lens the coveted “Wildlife Photographer of Year” award.

The prized image depicts a Siberian tiger hugging a tree in the Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia’s Far East.

With their prey severely diminished, the near-extinct tigers must canvass wide areas to hunt, making sightings extremely rare. To secure the winning shot, photographer Sergey Gorshkov stationed a camera in the forest for 10 months — and the results are stunning.

“With the combination of skill, look and months of persistence, photographer Sergey Gorshkov managed to capture this,” Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton said while announcing the winner on behalf of London’s Natural History Museum this week. “While the judges said it looks like an oil-painting, it is a photograph of an endangered female Amur tiger.”

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