But until today, we didn't realize how much actual courage he had.
A lot of Russians had been skeptical about President Putin's highly publicized displays of environmental daring. They thought the tiger looked a little glassy-eyed, and suggested he might have been trucked in from a zoo.Now that's courage. "Lightning threat? Nonsense. We just couldn't fill the space."
"But I thought up these tigers myself," Mr. Putin said. "Twenty other countries where tigers live also started taking care of them. ... The leopards were also my idea. Yes, I know they were caught before but the most important thing is to draw public attention to the problem."
The president also confirmed that a stunt last year, in which he appeared to dive to the bottom of the Black Sea and discover ancient Greek artifacts, had been staged.
"Well of course they were planted!" he said. "Why did I dive? Not to show my gills off, but to make sure people learn history. Of course it was a set up."