On June 4, two Amur tigers that completed rehabilitation programme in Primorye were transported to a place of their release in Jewish Autonomous Oblast. Director of the Phoenix Fund Sergei Bereznuk went to the Rehabilitation centre to bid cats’ farewell.
“Today is an important day at the Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in Alekseevka village, – says Sergei Bereznuk. Experts had to catch the tigers inside their enclosures, measure and weigh them and load them inside transport cages for subsequent delivery. It was possible to immobilize the male tiger named Ustin by 10 a.m., but the rather cautious female tiger Svetlaya hid successfully until 1 p.m. Both tigers are healthy, with the male and female weighing 140 kg and 105 kg, respectively. We are happy to send Ustin and Svetlaya towards their independent life in the wild that they were prepared for thanks to combined efforts of tiger specialists, NGOs, nature conservation agencies and people who donated money for tigers’ rehabilitation. The Phoenix Fund supported the rehabilitation process of these predators since their arrival to the centre. Once orphaned cubs doomed to die, they have received a new lease of life, and they will be able to roam free and unhindered in their new home. Hopefully, Ustin and Svetlaya, along with Cinderella, Borya, Kuzya and Ilona who were released earlier, will live a long life, never meet poachers and give birth to new Amur tigers”.
On June 5, when the country celebrates Ecologist’s Day, the tigers will be released at the Zhuravliny (Crane) Wildlife Refuge. This will be a gift for all nature conservation experts and volunteers, as well as for the tigers themselves.
The Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals» (PRNCO «Tiger Centre») has already prepared several tigers for subsequent release. In May 2013, a tigress named Cinderella was successfully released in Bastak Nature Reserve in Jewish Autonomous Oblast. In spring 2014, the largest number of Amur tigers was released into the wild. This was made possible by a programme to research the Amur tiger in Russia’s Far East, an independent project of the permanent expedition of the Russian Academy of Sciences aiming to study endangered animals listed in the Russian Red Data Book. That expedition was established in 2008 at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The releases were also made possible thanks to consolidated efforts of the Inspection Tiger, Phoenix Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).