Putin’s plan to bring back wild giant tigers is not going well

Amur tigers are seriously endangered and at the center of Russian President Vladimir Putin's conservation efforts

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Lutiy, an endangered Amur tiger, walks around his cage at the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Center in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Monument in Russia on Monday, Dec. 5, 2005 (AP/Burt Herman)

The world’s largest tigers have gone on the attack in Russia, harming and killing residents of rural villages in the east of the country.

Villagers and their pets are being attacked by the critically endangered Amur tigers, which have been the focus of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s conservation efforts for years.

In December last year, a man and his dog were attacked and killed in the village of Obor in the eastern region of Khabarovsk, the Moscow Times reported.

According to local police, the tiger had entered the village and killed the man’s dog. The unnamed man followed the tiger into the forest, where villagers later found the man’s body.

According to local authorities, the number of cases of tigers entering the region has reached almost 300.

In another incident last year, Sergey Kyalundzyuga was attacked by a tiger that broke through the window of his house.

Kyalundzyuga had gone fishing with his cousin Alexander when the animal decided to attack.

A source told East2West News:

They heard a noise outside. Sergey went to the window and then a male tiger ran to the window and broke the glass with its head.

Alexander then shot the animal, causing a series of severe injuries to Kyalundzyuga’s neck, head and arm.

In another incident this weekend, a tiger killed a guard dog in the village of Kutuzovka, south of the city of Khabarovsk, MailOnline reported.

The Russian President supports the rehabilitation of Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, in the east of the country.

Due to illegal hunting, habitat loss and poaching, the number of these majestic animals roaming the countryside in the east of the country has declined rapidly since the 19th century.

Putin’s focus on reintroducing Siberian tigers has seen the number of adults increase from around 390 more than a decade ago to 750 in recent years.

Putin said at a tiger conservation forum in 2022:

I am happy to highlight the achievements of our colleagues in India, Nepal, Bhutan and China, where the tiger population is growing steadily.

We have a lot to be proud of too. Twelve years ago, there were no more than 390 adult Amur tigers living in Russia’s Far Eastern taiga.

There are now about 750 of them with their offspring. This is the result of systematic measures taken by the government, but above all a concrete example of the hard work and joint efforts of Russian scientists, enthusiasts and nature conservation associations.

According to conservationists, the reasons for the recent increase in attacks are not clear but may be linked to the destruction of the tiger’s natural habitat.


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