Putin Shoots Whale With Crossbow

'Action man' PM joins scientific expedition

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 26, 2010 3:06 AM CDT | Updated Aug 26, 2010 5:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a crossbow as he sits on a rubber boat at the Olga Harbor of Kamchatka Peninsula.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a crossbow as he sits on a rubber boat at the Olga Harbor of Kamchatka Peninsula.   (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, pool)
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin drives a boat while visiting the South Kamchatka Federal Sanctuary at Russia's Pacific Kamchatka peninsula.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin drives a boat while visiting the South Kamchatka Federal Sanctuary at Russia's Pacific Kamchatka peninsula.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)
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Vladimir Putin chases a gray whale and shoots darts at it from a crossbow.   (thethomasjshow)

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