Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga on Friday awarded the internationally known eagle huntress Aisholpan Nurgaiv with the Order of the Polar Star, one of the highest state honors in the country.
The 17-year-old received the order for her contributions to promote the ethnic Kazakh tradition of hunting with eagles internationally, according to the president's press office.
When Aisholpan was 13, she became popular for her hobby of hunting with eagles. She was trained by her father to hunt on horseback with a golden eagle, traditionally a male pursuit.
Israeli photographer Asher Svidensky became the first to discover the girl in 2013 and published a series of jaw-dropping photos of the eagle huntress. Inspired by these pictures, British Director Otto Bell shot a documentary "The Eagle Huntress," in which Aisholpan starred together with her eagle.
The eagle huntress was also one of the recipients of the Asia Game Changer Awards in 2017, which recognize those making a transformative and positive difference for the future of Asia and the world.