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Tiger vs. snowman — a struggle as old as nature itself (photos)

Feb 28, 2013, 10:05 AM EDT

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Brookfield Zoo Winter Fun AP

Not sports, but when a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip comes to life, you know it will be reported here.

It’s a dilemma that nature photographers face on a regular basis: when photographing wildlife predators, do you resist the temptation to step in and and save the prey? In this case, an Associated Press photographer at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., let nature take its course, as cruel as that may seem. It was Max the tiger stalking an unwary snowman in his enclosure on Wednesday, and it was really no contest — especially since the snowman featured meat buttons for eyes and legs made of bones.

source: AP

source: AP

The Chicago Zoological Society says that snowman stalking is healthy for the tigers, as it encourages natural predatory behavior. This tableau is played out in other parts of the zoo as well:

Lion vs. Jack-o-lantern.

source: AP

Hog vs. kiddie pool.

source: AP