In late October, many events happened in tigers’ world. Two unusual conflicts between human and tiger were successfully resolved on the territory of large and densely populated places within two weeks. The first incident took place in Vladivostok, where a tiger freely walked about streets. This predator’s behavior seriously alarmed residents of the city. The decision to catch the tiger and carry it out from the urban territory was taken immediately. A team of specialists of the Hunting Supervision Department of Primorsky Krai and the Rehabilitation Center, supported by the Autonomous Non-commercial Organization “Amur Tiger Center” and WWF Russia, skillfully coped with the task: tiger was captured and brought to the PRNCO “Tiger Center”.
At the Center, the animal was examined, and all the necessary samples for laboratory tests were collected from it. The tiger appeared a healthy young male, 1.5–2 years of age, very well-fed, and weighing about 140 kg. According to the body parameters, it is a young animal that have recently started an independent life. Young males, after leaving their mother, can travel many hundreds of kilometers in search of a suitable individual territory. Probably by this way the tiger got into the man-made landscape and could not get out immediately: the city is surrounded by numerous highways, and barriers like this are not always easy to overcome for a wild animal. Now the tiger “Vladik” has started a new phase of life. It lives in the quarantine enclosure of the Rehabilitation Center and is observed via surveillance cameras. Live prey animals are regularly released into this enclosure so that the tiger could support its hunting skills and obtain food without getting dependent on people. After quarantine, the animal will be transferred to a large rehabilitation enclosure, where its behavior, especially that towards human, will be objectively analyzed. Then the tiger is to be released far from populated areas in order to prevent its “accidental” coming to city parks and walking around.
The second tiger was forcibly removed from the suburbs of the town of Artyom. This predator killed a cow that grazed in the outskirts of the town. This incident greatly frightened local residents who had not been ready for a neighbor like this. Therefore, it was decided to capture the animal and release in a less populated area. The tiger was placed for a short term at the Rehabilitation Centre, where it passed veterinary examination, and biological samples were taken for laboratory tests. This tiger also appeared healthy. At an age of 3–4 years and weighing 174 kg, this animal proved the biggest tiger to have ever been received by the PRNCO “Tiger Center” in the history of the Rehabilitation Center. The tiger stayed at the Center for only three days. The animal behaved very cautiously in the enclosure and carefully tested the fence for strength. He manifested excellent self-control, not showing itself to people. On last Sunday, the predator was released into the wild at the border of the “Ussuriisky” nature reserve. We very much hope that the tiger “Artyom” will no longer make mischief in populated places and will keep avoiding people. All animal’s movements are controlled by the Hunting Supervision Department of Primorsky Krai.
Our tigress Filippa could watch all these scenes. She had an opportunity to see her relatives through the wire netting of the fence. The presence of adult males in the neighborhood made the young tigress anxious. However, she preferred to observe them maintaining a distance of 200–300 meters. But anyway, the experience of this “social” interaction will also be useful for her.
The staff of the Rehabilitation Center (PRNCO “Tiger Center”) would like to express their acknowledgements for the joint work and cooperation to the “Land of the Leopard” National Park, the autonomous non-commercial organization (ANO) “Amur Leopard”, ANO “Amur Tiger Center”, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the “Phoenix” Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), The Amur Leopard & Tiger Alliance — ALTA, OAO AK “Transneft”, the chief veterinarian of the Moscow Zoo Alshinetsky Mikhail Valerievich, and the veterinarians of the “Nika” animal hospital.