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Police save smuggled Amur tiger cub in Western Siberia

By The Siberian Times reporter
12 October 2015

Endangered big cat is rescued from black market animal traders.

The Amur - or Siberian - tiger cub was flown to Moscow and is undergoing medical tests. Picture: Ministry of Internal Affairs

Police in Nizhnevartovsk intercepted a gang smuggling a young tiger caught in the wild as a small cub. Several smugglers were arrested in the city amid suspicions the tiger was to be supplied to China. The Amur - or Siberian - tiger cub was flown to Moscow and is undergoing medical tests. 

Anton Kulbachevsky, head of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection in Moscow, said: 'Parts of bodies of tigers obtained in Russia basically go to China. They are in demand for Chinese medicine and cuisine. In fact it is considered a delicacy. People pay huge money for this.'

Officers from the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department, working with colleagues from Yamalo-Nenets and Khanty-Mansiysk autonomous district, were alerted to the tiger cub's presence in Nizhnevartovsk, evidently on a black market supply route to China.

Siberian tiger cub


Siberian tiger cub


Siberian tiger cub


Siberian tiger cub


Siberian tiger cub

Tiger cub will not be returned to the wild amid fears it would not survive after being captured by man. Pictures: Ministry of Internal Affairs

'They confiscated the cub from the smugglers who were engaged in the resale of animals listed in the Red Book,' said Elena Alekseeva, an Interior Ministry official. 

Police took the cub to Moscow by plane and passed it to staff of the Moscow government's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The cub is now undergoing examination by specialists of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution. It will not be returned to the wild amid fears it would not survive after being captured by man. A competition is underway to name the animal.

Only 500 Amur tigers remain in the wild. The population is slowly but gradually increasing, but is not yet at a level where its stability is guaranteed.

Comments (19)

Anyone thought about rehabbing? It's very possible if this cub was taken from the wild.
Tanja, Norway
13/10/2015 12:07
5
0
it breaks my heart to see this cub so afraid. it surely can't survive this young in the wild so now it's destined to live in captivity. China......the armpit of the poaching world.
Tammy, USA
13/10/2015 10:38
13
0
And now to spend the rest of its poor life behind bars at a zoo.
karen Cobb,
13/10/2015 02:11
5
0
China,
The single biggest reason for poaching worldwide.
Ivory, bear parts, tiger parts, rhino parts, on and on and on.
disgusting
JEFF E, USA
12/10/2015 23:37
16
0
12

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