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'I've grown fat, got a tan & now look like a Siberian'
Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Putin's tigers survive the abnormally cold winter and are on the move again

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 March 2015

Experts say Kuzya, Borya and Ilona have adapted to life in the wild and satellite data shows they are happily roaming about their new habitats.

Parts of the Russian Far East suffered the worst snowfall in years with many animals buried in drifts more than one metre deep. Picture: Udege legend

Vladimir Putin's tigers have survived the abnormally cold weather that experts had feared could decimate much of Siberia's unique wildlife. Parts of the Russian Far East suffered the worst snowfall in years with many animals buried in drifts more than one metre deep and others left struggling to find food.

Conservationists had been particularly concerned about the rare Amur tiger, which was badly affected in similar weather conditions in the 1980s, with 30 of them dying.

But it seems the President's tigers – Kuzya, Borya and Ilona - are fine and have adapted to life in the wild with data being collected from radio signals given out by their collars.

The signal from Borya shows the big cat has crossed the border from the Jewish Autonomous Oblast to Priamurye seven times and is currently about 7km from the Arkharinsky district.

Ivan Bolotsky, deputy head of the Amursky Department for Conservation, said: 'It's nothing surprising. Borya crossed the border seven times in search of happiness and better food.'

The data shows Borya’s brother Kuzya is not rushing home after the winter and after coming back from China he seems to have settled in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.

Putin frees three endangered Siberian tiger orphans into the wild


Putin frees three endangered Siberian tiger orphans into the wild


Putin frees three endangered Siberian tiger orphans into the wild

Mr Putin released the three Siberian tigers into a remote part of the Amur region in May last year. Pictures: Phoenix foundation

Ilona is also not travelling too much having spent autumn and winter in the Khingansky wildlife sanctuary. She chose a place in a secluded area with a lot of boars and did destroy a camera, and the latest photographs show she has grown and put on weight.

Mr Putin released the three Siberian tigers into a remote part of the Amur region in May last year. Satellite signals from collar trackers has been showing their movements and where they have preferred to spend their time and forage for food. There were concerns about the impact of the winter weather on the animals because they were raised in Primorsky Krai where there is rarely any snow.

Two months-worth of snow fell during the month of December alone in the Russian Far East, leaving depths of up to one metre in places, a critical level for many animals.

People were urged to help conservation charity WWF fund their efforts to save the animals by texting the word 'tiger' (тигр) in Russian to 3443, with one message costing 100 roubles ($1.50).

More commonly known as the Siberian tiger, the Amur tiger is listed as an endangered species, with less than 450 of them left in the region. Five years ago Russia launched a national strategy to protect the animal, which is the largest of the five tiger species.

Putin, an avid campaigner to save the species, was also recently behind the unveiling of a computer animated tiger cub as a new character on Russia’s longest-running children's TV show.

Comments (3)

I love tigers but never knew they survived in such harsh winter conditions!
Unknown, Unknown
06/06/2017 00:24
0
0
Beautiful creatures.
Sunil Vernekar, Los Angeles USA
31/03/2015 10:46
3
0
Good news .Wonderful animals!
Jocelyne , FRANCE
26/03/2015 00:16
10
0
1

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