During the first week of January 2013 residents of Svetlogorye village, Pozharsky district of Primorye, found tiger cub paw prints near the human settlement. Although there were no conflict cases yet, local people started getting nervous and informed local law enforcement agencies about the young predator. Tiger specialists immediately arrived at the scene in order to find out what caused the animal to approach the dwellings. According to specialists of Primorsky Hunting Management Department, there were four tiger cubs wandering about. Three of them made their way to the north – Khabarovsky krai, and the one left in Primorye. No tracks of any adult tigresses were found nearby.
The cub was captured on January 9th. As the animal was extremely emaciated, it was decided to transport it to the Utyos Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Khabarovsky krai which is located not too far from Svetlogorye village. There were fears that the cub would not get through a long trip to the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre located in the south of Primorye (almost an 8-hour drive). The young predator will be kept at Utyos for at least a couple of weeks until vets can decide the fate of the animal. If the tiger regain its health quickly, it will be transported to the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre for further rehabilitation where Centre’s caretakers will prepare the animal for release back to the wild.
It is known that cubs left without a mother in the wild are completely vulnerable and cannot survive on their own. Discovering tiger cubs roaming without their mother in the wild means that something must have happened to the adult tigress, otherwise, it would have never left its cubs alone. Experts will investigate the case and try to find out what have happened with the mother tigress.
Sergei Bereznuk, director of the Phoenix Fund:“That’s the second time this winter when orphaned tiger cubs are found in the wild. The first case occurred in late November 2012 when three cubs were found without their mother, and now they are kept at the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre near Alekseevka village (Nadezhdinsky district of Primorye). And now,one more tiger cub has been rescued. Probably, three other siblings will be captured soon too. This is certainly a very alarming sign for the Amur tiger population. It might be supposed that tigresses had been killed by poachers. If the tiger cubs found this winter die, the population will lose NINE individuals only within the first half of winter. That is why our top priority now is to successfully rehabilitate them for return to the wild. It is extremely needed to provide finanacial support to the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre, help keep tigers there and purchase necessary equipment“.
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