Tiger seeks human help


tigressIn November there was a conflict situation covered by all local and central mass media. On November 21 a group of loggers found a two-year old tiger near Pokrovka village, Khabarovsky krai, and tried to scare the animal back into the forest with dogs, flares and sounds of gunshots, but in vain.

Tiger Response team of Inspection Tiger and Siberian Tiger Project team of WCS came to investigate the case. Finally, the tigress was sedated and taken to the rehabilitation center in Terney, northern Primorye. The tiger did not react to sound, light or touch, but showed neither signs of physical exhaustion, nor obvious injuries – body was well nourished and fur shiny. That the tiger may have been held in captivity was not ruled out by the veterinarians, and would explain tiger healthy weight, lack of aggression to people, as well as reluctance to go into the forest. The WCS specialists conducted consultations with renowned veterinarians in the US and Russia. The veterinarians decided to make IV drips two times per day to give the tigress enough liquid, glucose and vital vitamins as she could not drink or eat on her own (a tiger needs at least 4 liters per day). Her condition slightly improved. Specialists of Siberian Tiger Projects supposed that the tiger could have been poisoned, or, more likely, contracted a virus, such as rabies. The specialists continued to fight for the weak tigress’ life. Unfortunately, on January 10, 2004 the tigress died.

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