In his latest effort to remind his countrymen of his machismo, Russian leader Vladimir Putin yesterday shot a gray whale with a dart from a crossbow. The prime minister, on a rubber boat in choppy seas, hit the gray whale on his fourth attempt to collect a skin sample, the Independent reports. Putin has previously been photographed shooting a tiger, fighting wildfires, flying a fighter plane, and swimming in a freezing lake.
Wildlife groups weren't impressed by Putin's foray into the world of whale research, Reuters notes. The International Fund for Animal Welfare issued a statement slamming Putin for staging a "save-the-whales" photo-op while the activities of a state-controlled oil company nearby threatened the same population of whales that the expedition he joined is studying.