Female cub of the Amur tiger, the largest cat in the world, rescued from the poaching trap in the Russian Far East. Image: Amur Tiger Center
A female, between three and four months of age, was caught with one paw in an illegal trap set up by poachers to catch badgers in the forests of Dalnerechensky District of Primorsky Region.
Fortunately, a local resident noticed the trapped boy and reported it to wildlife authorities.
The place where the young animal was found was a “badger town”, a multi-level system of badger holes and tunnels with 11 traps – which are forbidden according to Russian hunting rules – all around.
Traces of the mother tiger were all over the property, rescuers said.
The adult tigress must have tried to help the boy and only left the premises when she heard people approach.
She stayed around the whole time and did not attack humans to free her cub.
“It must have been a child’s curiosity that led the boy to follow the mother and check badger holes. It couldn’t get out of the trap by itself, and Mother was just as powerless. We knew that the tiger mother stayed close all the time, so we acted as quickly and carefully as possible so as not to provoke an attack, ”said Sergey Aramilev, General Director of the Amur Tiger Center.
Female cub of the Amur tiger, the largest cat in the world, rescued from the poaching trap in the Russian Far East. Images: Amur Tiger Center
The team of local wildlife conservation experts sedated the young tigress and let go of her paw.
The trap tore off one of the front claws, causing minor injuries – most likely the boy pulled it while trying to break free.
No health or life threatening wounds were found, so the rescuers decided to leave the Amur tigress in the wild.
“We are sure that the cub has already joined its mother and will be more careful in the future. We got the information just in time to save her life. The longer she was trapped, the more trauma she could inflict on herself as she tried to break free. In the worst case scenario, the predator could have died of dehydration, ”said Sergey Aramilev.
The Amur tiger is the largest big cat in the world.
About 600 adult animals – 95% of the world population – live in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk regions, the Amur region and the Jewish Autonomous Region in the Far East of Russia.
Some Amur tigers live in China and North Korea. The next tiger census in Russia is due in winter 2021-2022.
SUPPORT THE TEAM THAT HELPS DANGEROUS AMUR TIGERS IN RUSSIA AND SUCCESSFULLY RE-INTRODUCES THEM TO NATURE
The PRNCO ‘Tiger Center’ team rehabilitated 7 tigers and 1 African lion.
Of these, 6 tigers were released into their natural habitat. Five have been fully adapted for life in the wild.
The first female Zolushka (Cinderella) to go through full rehabilitation was observed with two cubs in December 2015. The tigers Svetlaya (Bright) and Boris, released in 2014, formed a couple.
The center was founded on September 19, 2012.