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Mongolian Girl Hunts With Eagle Continuing Centures-Old Tradition (PICTURES)

17/04/2014 17:23 BST | Updated 17/04/2014 17:59 BST

These incredible pictures show a 13-year-old Mongolian girl continuing with a centuries-old tradition of hunting with eagles.

Israeli-Russian photographer Asher Svidensky shot five boys learning the skill as well as the girl, Ashol Pan.

One of the pictures shows her release a bird as big as her whole upper body whilst stood atop a mountain with the crisp white, snowy peaks in the distance.

In the past this sight would have been unthinkable but now girls are being taught to control the birds of prey to replace their brothers.

Ashol's father, Han Gohadok, said that his eldest son was due to take over the hunting duties but as he had been drafted to the army.

Despite his daughter's training, Han said he would never think of making her take up the role full-time, unless she explicitly asked to do so.

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Svidensky also met Bahak Birgen, who began training aged eight and is, at 14, believed to be the youngest hunter. Ordinarily, men don't begin their training until they turn 13 and are deemed to be strong enough to carry a full grown eagle on their arm.

The photos were taken as part of project focussing on the next generation of hunters who are keeping this dying part of their culture alive.

He said: "I decided to focus myself; stop looking for a portrait of a centuries old image of a Kazakh eagle hunter, and instead represent the future of this ancient Mongolian tradition."

He spent a day at a time with each of the families he shot during a four month-trek through western Mongolia.