22 Jul 2019
Conservation Story 9: Two Grown-up Tiger Cubs are Moving to the Northwest of Tiger Range
Early 2018, the village of Aleksei-Nikolskoye ran into trouble with a wild tigress who has been stealing dogs from them. They tried to frighten her away by shouting or with flashlights but it didn’t help. This wasn’t a typical behaviour. Not wanting the villagers to come into harm’s way but wanting to save the tigress from the bullet, she was captured on February 2nd and placed in the Alekseevka Rehabilitation Center.
The wildlife experts thought she might have cubs and was stealing dogs to feed them. Sure enough, they found tracks of two cubs. The alleged tiger cubs were true! And so an epic chase to capture the cubs began. For the first time, horses were used in the chase as they provide the best means for finding and capturing the two cubs.
Thanks to the joint efforts, the cubs were successfully caught and placed in the same rehabilitation center as their mother.
In March 2018, during the vaccination process of tigers by Pavel Fomenko, WWF Russia’s staff, Kazachka lunged at him. The speed of her attack is about 80 km/h. Most likely she felt there was a possible threat to the cubs.
Fortunately, the doctors of Primorye saved Pavel’s life and he underwent another serious surgery in Moscow’s hospital. His incident drew attention to the need for safety control for those working with predators.
More on improvement to enclosure →We strengthen the fence with the second layer of double stainless wire. The perimeter of the enclosure is equipped with dense plastic barrier to avoid the disturbance factor for tigers. I’d like to thank everyone who helped us in this work, – Pavel said.
When it was time for Kazachka to be tested for her hunting abilities half a year later, she did not pass. To our greatest regret, she is not able to return to the wild but will be taken care of in a zoo in Krasnoyarsk. Meanwhile, her cubs continue their own rehabilitation process.
After more than a year in Alekseevka Rehabilitation Center, the cubs of Kazachka (above) started the journey from Primorsky to Amurskaya Province for their release! The cubs were accustomed to carnivorous diet and developed hunting skills and showed adequate reaction towards disturbances.
Pavlik was at first wrongly identified as a female and called Marta (meaning March in English). He was renamed after our very own Pavel Fomenko! “Having a special attitude towards this tiger family I wish for the animals to never ever get into humans “paws”. Let them prey lots of fat wild boars and deers, let them never encounter a poacher or a hooligan ready to shoot every moving thing in the wild forest!”, notes Pavel Fomenko, rare species conservation program coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch.