Primorye Hunting Department Capturers Two Siberian Tigers
Experts at WWF Russia have taken part in the capture operation.
VLADIVOSTOK. February 11. VOSTOK-MEDIA – Primorsky Krai Hunting Department in collaboration with Special Inspection “Tiger” have captured two Siberian tigers: a grown-up male and a tiger cub. Experts at WWF Russia have taken part in the capture operation, Amur branch of WWF Russia reports.
The adult tiger came to a hunting ground in Severnoye farming unit at 3 a.m. on Feb. 9. As the guard dogs saw the intruder they raised the alarm but soon became silent and hid in kennels. When the keeper of the hunting ground spotted the striped animal standing some 50 meters from him he rushed to the house and called the Hunting Department and Special Inspection “Tiger”.
Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at the Amur branch of WWF-Russia, arrived at the place of accident in the morning and found himself right at the center of the events: “I was astonished at what I saw there,” says Pevel Fomenko. “I saw frightened men driving around the hunting ground in a truck and a huge tiger that was following unhurriedly the truck and trying to bite through a wheel of the vehicle. When the tiger noticed the car we were sitting in it came to the car, looked through the window and switched his attention back to the truck.”
Human-tiger conflicts typically occur from January to late March, the most difficult period for the animals, when it is almost impossible for them to catch wild hoofed animals due to a heavy accumulation of snow and the overall scarcity of hoofed animals in the forests. As a result, adult tigers abandon their cubs because they are unable to procure adequate amount of food to feed them. The abandoned tiger cubs often get killed by poachers, while grown-up tigers enter human settlements in search for easy prey – dogs and farm livestock. These animals often walk along logging roads, where they sometimes get killed by poachers. Each year up to 30 human-tiger conflicts occur in Primorsky Krai.
At present, human-animal conflicts are dealt with by specially authorized agencies – Primorsky Krai Hunting Department and Special Inspection “Tiger”. In addition, authorities engage experts from external agencies which can provide competent assistance in catching animals or carrying out the assessment of a situation. The decision on every single conflict is made collectively.
Experts say the tiger exhibited abnormal behavior and presented a real danger to Alekseevka village residents. That’s why Hunting Department officers decided to capture the striped animal. “It’s too early now to draw any conclusions,” said Aleksandr Rybin, the man who captured the tiger. “It behaved very strange, like the tiger that died of diseases last year in the rehabilitation center for animals.”
After the tiger was placed in a special open-air cage, veterinarians taken some samples for biological testing which may reveal the reasons lying behind the abnormal behavior of the tiger.
Incidentally, on the same day experts at the Hunting Department and Special Inspection “Tiger” captured yet another tiger in Pozharsky District, Primorsky Krai. But this time it was a little cub. The bereaved tiger cub was found in a garbage dump near the village…”We consider the capture of the tiger cub to be well justified, because the animal is very young and unable to hunt for food. The cub might have died from starvation or got killed by poachers,” says Tatyana Aramileva, Head of Primorsky Krai Hunting Department.”
The main challenge the experts are facing now is the question of where to place the tigers and what to do with them now. At present, there are no rehabilitation centers for tigers in Primorsky Krai. The Government pours a lot of money into the study of beasts of prey but it has not solved the major issue of providing rehabilitation for animals left in distressful situations. The lack of such institution brings to naught all efforts to minimize human-animal conflicts,” said Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia, Amur Branch.
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