Poachers killed Amur tiger in the border zone


dead tigerOn May 28, 2004 a ranger of Khasan anti-poaching team of Inspection Tiger received information from an anonymous source that local people had killed an Amur tiger during illegal hunting near Kraskino village and one of violators had received severe injuries. Later that day, two Khasan team rangers, together with a policeman of Khasan police department, went to Kraskino village to check the information. As a result of a thorough investigation it was ascertained that a group of local people had entered the territory between the border patrol fence (BPF) and Chinese border. BPF is a border protection zone between Russia and China, which includes a 3 m high barbed wire fence, a 20 m zone of habitat for wildlife where hunting is strictly prohibited. This border region is officially off-limits to all but border patrol officers, but it is generally known that hunting still occurs there. This case is confirmation of such violations.

On May 29 Inspection Tiger rangers, together with deputy prosecutor of Khasan district and crime investigator, went to Kraskino village for further investigation. It was determined that on May 24 at 4:15 a.m. a man with a lot of injuries had been transported to the medical center of a military unit. Next morning that man was transported by car to Slavaynka City and then by ferry to Vladivostok city. But on May 26 he died and was buried shortly. Relatives of the dead man considered that he had been attacked by a dog. The Khasan team rangers questioned his surgeon from the military unit and he told that he had found 38 injuries on the human body and some of them had been left by tiger claws.

dead tigerOn May 30 the Khasan team received another call from anonymous person and found that two accomplices drove by a caterpillar tractor towards BPF in order to conceal sings of killing the tiger and take it out from the border patrol zone. Immediately afterwards, the Khasan team went to check the information and found fresh tracks of a caterpillar tractor leading to a silo pit. Besides, the rangers found tarpaulin and big plastic bag with dag-locks near the silo pit. Probably, the poachers wrapped the tiger corpse in it for transportation. Afterwards, the rangers started digging out the pit and shortly after found the dead animal and forwarded it to Ussuriisk city for post-mortal examination. On May 31 an expert determined that a 4-5-year old tiger had been killed by four gunshots. Three bullets were extracted from the body for ballistic examination.

According to supposition made by rangers, while hunting poachers spotted an animal lying in the bushes. They shot at it and sent one of the hunters to check what animal they had killed. When the poacher came up close to the animal, the tiger attacked him. After that, the poachers shot the tiger dead. Then, they took their injured friend to the hospital and buried the corpse of the tiger.

At this moment the Prosecutor’s office of Khasan district is carrying out supplementary investigation in order to initiate criminal proceedings. Anti-poaching activity of the Khasan team is supported by Tigris Foundation and the Phoenix Fund.

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