According to the Amur Tiger Programme press centre four of the five cubs that were released into the wild by President Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Far East have adapted well to their new surroundings. “A group of researchers is currently in the Amur Region, exploring tiger trails and tracking the movements of the radio-collared tigers. Four of the five tiger cubs that were released into the wild have fully adapted and settled in the Amur Region, the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region,” Viktor Serdyuk, a spokesman for the Tiger special inspection service, told reporters. “And Ustin would have done well too, if he hadn’t crossed into China during the ice breakup.” The four tigers are doing fine out in the wild, he added. “They hunt successfully, so the scientists aren’t worrying about them. We can say the experiment to release the cubs into the wild has been a success.” In 2013, five tiger cubs, weak and abandoned, were found in the Far Eastern taiga. The cubs were named Ustin, Kuzya, Borya, Svetlaya and Ilona. In May 2014, after rehabilitation Kuzya, Borya and Ilona were released into the wild in the Amur Region. Ustin and Svetlaya were released in the Jewish Autonomous Region in June. All five were fitted with radio collars, making it possible to track their movements via satellite. In autumn, Kuzya and Ustin crossed into China but returned in December. Ustin swam across the Amur and ventured into several villages in China where he hunted various animals. After crossing back into Russia, he settled in the Bolshoi Khekhtsir Nature Reserve not far from Khabarovsk, where he reportedly attacked dogs. In late December, scientists had to catch Ustin and place him in a rehabilitation centre in the Primorye Region. It turned out that he had suffered an injury on his way back from China. At present, Ustin lives in a zoo in Rostov-on-Don. As for the tigress Zolushka (Cinderella), released into the Bastak Nature Reserve in the Jewish Autonomous Region two years ago, she is looking to become a mother. “Scientists have discovered that she has been accompanied by a male for a long time, so there is every reason to assume that she will have cubs soon,” Serdyuk said.
This week we wanted to wish you all lots of prosperity in the new year and share a touching insight from the life in rehab from Ekaterina Blidchenko, who works in the rehabilitation center and is the employee of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
"Life in rehab is much easier than the independent life in taiga. Living in enclosures, tigers have lots of free time. And how do they spend it? Well, sleeping most of the time. Tiger Tiknon is no exception. Waking up, Tikhon watch the world go by: listening to the sounds, capturing a variety of odors. Sometimes Tikhon interrupts contemplation to take care of his luxurious fur. In general, life is serene. But the other day this serenity was violated. A bevy of roe deer approached the enclosure. Little did they know about a danger that awaited them right behind the fence. Having noticed the guests Tikhon began to investigate them in detail. Even through the monitor we felt the inner turmoil of a wild cat, a born predator! But only the tip of his tail showed his excitement - dark tail tip twitched nervously from side to side. The rest of Tikhon’s body remained still; he only pressed his ears a little – a tiger in a hide. Were it not for the cage separating tiger from his prey a feast would have happened, but for now the deer were safe. And when they whipped out of sight Tikhon’s life resumed its normal course."
We would like to inform you about a new tiger that was rescued in the Russian Far East. Now the Phoenix Fund and its partners initiate fundraising campaign to provide proper care and rehabilitation to tiger to make sure it will get back into the wild soon.
On November 16, 2014 a new resident arrived to the Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in Alekseevka village. Emaciated tiger was captured at Vyazemsky district of Khabarovsky krai by the joint team of Inspection Tiger, Khabarovsky Hunting Management Department and Wildlife Conservation Society. The tiger named Tikhon was saved from a hungry death, and currently it requires special care, intensive feeding and permanent veterinary support.
The rehabilitation of the tiger will take several months, and after it is planned to release the animal back to its natural environment.
Thanks to your previous support for the Rehabilitation Center, in 2013, a famous tigress Cinderella (Zolushka) was successfully released into the wild after spending a year in the center. In spring-summer 2014, another five tigers were set free after rehabilitation in Alekseevka. A team of specialist watch closely every move of the released tigers both in Russia and in China through satellite data from the collars and camera-traps.
Now another tiger needs your help to roam free in its natural environment. Make him a Christmas present!
Only $20 will provide vitamins for Tikhon per day, $35 will pay veterinary bill in 1 day, $60 will purchase fresh vegetables for tiger for a whole week, $500 will buy live deer or wild boar so that Tikhon can practice its hunting skills, $1,000 will covers transportation of a tiger from the center to release site and$2,000 will provide medical equipment unit for the Rehabilitation Center.
Happy holidays, friends!
The Amur tiger Kuzya, who was released into the wild in May and has moved around the Amur Region and Jewish Autonomous Region, has crossed into China, the Severtsov Institute of Environment and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences has reported.
After wandering in the two regions, the tiger approached the Amur River, walked along it for several days and then swam towards China. The tiger’s movement is monitored by experts of the Severtsov Institute via its GPS collar. They also notified the regional authorities in Russia and China about the tiger’s location.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua has announced, citing Chen Zhigang, the director of the nature reserve, that the local authorities hope Kuzya would be safe in China.
Chen Zhigang said the tiger entered the Taipinggou Nature Reserve in Heilonjiang in northeastern China. The police have notified the local farmers about the tiger. Sixty infrared camera traps installed in the Taipinggou reserve will record the tiger’s movements. The tiger should have enough to eat because various animal species live in the reserve on an area of 20,000 hectares, Chen Zhigang said, adding that, if necessary, they could release cattle into the reserve.
According to experts, tigers often cross the Russian-Chinese border. The staff of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Permanent Expedition to study animals listed in the Red Data Book of Russia and other important species of Russian fauna previously recorded tigers and brown bears with GPS collars crossing into China southwest of the Primorye Territory.
According to the specialists from the Programme for the study and conservation of the Amur tiger in the Russian Far East the two Amur tigers that were released into the wild at the Zhuravliny wildlife sanctuary in the Jewish Autonomous Region are doing fine! On 3 June, two cubs Svetlaya and Yustin left the Rehabilitation Centre for a location in the north of the Jewish Autonomous Region in a motorcade led by an air-conditioned animal transportation vehicle. After a 1,200-kilometre non-stop drive, the motorcade arrived at the village of Bidzhan, where a crane was used to reload the 400-kilogramme cages to caterpillar cross-country vehicles that headed across marshy terrain for the Zhuravliny wildlife sanctuary. The last 60-kilometre leg through the marshes was the most trying experience for all expedition members, who were tormented by heat and gadflies. People had to stop several times to spray the tigers and the cages with cool water from the river. On 5 June, when ecologists, biologists and environmentalists celebrated the World Environment Day, the two tigers, Yustin and Svetlaya, were released into the wild. Thus, yet another step was made towards restoring the Amur tiger population in an area where it had been destroyed by humans in the mid-20th century. The tigers survived the journey fairly well. In the dusk, the cages were lowered by hand to the ground at a maximum distance from populated localities in an area where concentrations of wild boar, roe deer, red deer and other potential prey had been spotted. All the released tigers are being covered by a comprehensive monitoring project. Satellite collars help scientists to track their movements and identify hunting grounds. The satellite data indicate that the cubs adapted successfully and now enjoy their freedom.
We thank everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of Svetlaya and Yustin and made this comeback to wild possible for the tiger cubs that were doomed to die or live a poor life somewhere in a cage!
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