Meet the Mongolian Huntress and Her Golden Eagle Hunting Partner

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By Ma Evelyn Castino Quilas | April 16, 2014 5:12 PM EST

Who says hunting is an exclusive activity for guys only?

Not with Ashol-Pan, a 13-year-old girl from the Kazakh tribe in Altai mountains, Western Mongolia who uses a golden eagle as her hunting partner to catch foxes and hares.  This young lady goes on a hunting expedition with the Mongolian boys.

Her hunting episode was captured by travel photographer Asher Svidensky who spent four months on horseback across the Mongolian mountains just to document the young generation of hunters.

 The Israeli-Russian photographer met with Ashol-Pan and her entire family during his stint at the ethnic group's community.

In a report from BBC, Svidensky showed a photo of Ashol-Pan's family and stated that there are endless possibilities for the young generation of Mongolian hunters. "The generation that will decide what will happen with every tradition that Mongolia contains is this generation. Everything there is going to change and is going to be redefined - and the possibilities are amazing," he stated

Svidensky recalled his amazement at the sight of Ashol-Pan who comfortably allows the eagle to sit on her arms unlike most Kazakh boys her age who are a bit apprehensive with handling the golden eagle. He stated: "To see her with the eagle is amazing. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."

Ashol was trained for hunting in replacement of her eldest brother who has been drafted into the army. According to Ahol's father Han Gohadok who was a famous hunter in their tribe, his eldest son will unlikely return to hunting upon his return so Ashol stepped forward to take over the hunting duties. Although the head of the family did not expect Ashol to make hunting a full-time work in the future unless she specifically wanted to do so, according to Daily Mail.

Svidensky describes the Mongolian huntress as shy, sweet, and smiling.  She might be the only huntress among the 400 apprentice in the Kazakhs tribe. This is the only ethnic group that makes use of golden eagles for their hunting expeditions wherein a team of hunters travel on mountains or ridge amidst the snow and cold weather in search for fox and other animals that can be used for food.

The stunning photos of Ashol's hunting episode can be found on this link from BBC website.  

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