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Tigress named Cinderella released into the wild and immediately starts tracking her Prince Charming

By The Siberian Times reporter
13 May 2013

The rare Amur tigress was saved from starvation more than a year ago after she was orphaned when poachers killed her mother.

Now around two years old, Cinderella weighs 94 kilograms and has an instinctive fear of humans, which will be crucial to her survival in the wild. Picture: Phoenix Fund 

First, rescuers nursed her back to health. Then she underwent careful training in a unique rehabilitation centre, minimising her contact with humans before halting them completely. She was taught how kill her prey and avoid danger, and finally in the last few days, she was released back into the wild. 

Wearing a collar which allows satellite monitoring of her progress, Cinderella's  natural instincts appear to be intact despite her traumatic start to life. 

'We have already received the first data on the tigress's movement across the new territory,' said the director of ecological fund Phoenix, Sergei Beruznuk.

'Today she is moving to an area where signs of an adult male tiger were found. Scientists hope that possibly a new tiger family will appear soon and Cinderalla (Zolushka in Russian) will find her new home.'

It was in February 2012 that the tigress was found alone, sick, hungry and exhausted in the taiga of Primorsky region in the Far East of Russia. 

Cinderella tigress


Cinderella was released last week in the Bastak Nature Reserve in Primorsky Krai. Pictures: Phoenix Fund 

Now around two years old, she weighs 94 kilograms and has an instinctive fear of humans: which will be crucial to her survival in the wild. 

'Cinderella had to be removed from the wild and placed in the rehabilitation facility for endangered species built by the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution together with Inspection Tiger near the village of Alexeyevka in Primorsky Krai,' said a statement by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

'Thanks to the joint efforts of these two organisations financially supported by IFAW and the Phoenix Fund, Cinderella underwent a special rehabilitation programme. The tiger spent a year at the rehabilitation facility monitored by conservationists who were taking care of improving her physical condition and adapting her for reintroduction into the wild.

'Cinderella learned to hunt and to stalk her prey. For over six months she was feeding exclusively on live deer, hogs and raccoons that she hunted in her spacious enclosure. All contacts with humans were eliminated, and monitoring was performed remotely through video cameras.'

'The tiger is prepared to go back to the wild; she is in good physical shape; she is successfully stalking and hunting her natural prey and avoids human beings," said Dr Viatcheslav Rozhnov, Deputy-Director of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution'.

Mr Bereznuk added that 'thanks to the high professionalism of conservationists at the rehabilitation facility, Cinderella, we believe, is completely ready for the next - independent - stage of her life'.

Cinderella tigress

'Today, when the entire tiger population remaining in the wild is just 3,200, with approximately 400 of them in Russia, every tiger's life is precious for saving them from extinction'. Pictures: Phoenix Fund 

Cinderella was released last week in the Bastak Nature Reserve in Primorsky Krai.

'Hopefully she will adjust successfully and will breed soon,' said Dr said Vorontsova, Vorontsova, IFAW Russia Director.

'Today, when the entire tiger population remaining in the wild is just 3,200, with approximately 400 of them in Russia, every tiger's life is precious for saving them from extinction'.

She warned: 'Tigers' habitats are shrinking. Their hunting territories decrease due to unprecedented logging and wildfires. The decline of the ungulate population (the tigers' prey base) is also of great concern.

'Poaching is flourishing because tigers are highly valued in the traditional medicine market of neighbouring China. All of these reasons lead to female tigers dying with increased frequency. Hungry and exhausted tiger cubs then wander into villages in search of food.'

Four more tiger cubs remain in the rehabilitation centre. 

Three of them were found near the village of Yakovlevka, in Primorsky region, in late November-early December 2012. 

The fourth cub was rescued in Kavalerovsky district of the region early this year. 

Conservationists say it is still unclear whether they can release all of them into the wild. 

Comments (2)

Tell us please what happens to Cinderella ...... i bet she has some adventures and its great they can keep tracking her by satellite. Hope for the best for her
Vince, France
16/05/2013 18:58
2
0
good job
May, China
15/05/2013 01:08
1
0
1

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