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The Siberian Times

‘Tiger almost ate my left arm - I stuffed it in beast’s jaw to stop him going for my neck’

By The Siberian Times reporter
30 January 2018

Hunter tells how he shot rare Siberian tiger as it attacked him, then fought the predator for 10 minutes before walking wounded 10km for help.

Doctors say the hunter is in ‘moderately bad condition’, and will survive. Picture: file image from a hospital in the Far East of Russia, by Vesti Primorye

Dmitry Korchevsky, 39, has spoken from hospital about how he survived a tiger attack, but law enforcement is to check his account amid suspicions he provoked the animal. 

The hunter denies this, saying he was checking sable traps, when he saw an already wounded tiger. 

‘The big cat was under a cedar tree five meters away from me, he was preparing to jump. I took two steps back and shot; he pounced on me, tearing my hands and head’, the hunter said. 

'The tiger was already wounded by someone, which is why he attacked as soon as he saw me. 

‘I managed to shoot three times as he jumped, but the tiger, while fatally wounded, still had strength to attack. 

'He was gnawing me for ten minutes. Trying to protect myself, I stuffed his jaw with my hands, so that he didn't get to my neck. My left arm is so badly bitten I don't feel it, it doesn't move. 

'The tiger bit my right arm around the elbow, and ripped my scalp off.' 

Amur tiger attacks hunter

Amur tiger attacks hunter

Amur tiger attacks hunter

Amur tiger attacks hunter
An Amur tiger seen in the Far East of Russia, and hunter Dmitry Korchevsky. Pictures: Vesti Primorye, Dmitry Korchevsky

‘The tiger then died on me. I climbed out from underneath him and crawled away from the site', said the hunter.  

'I walked for almost 10 kilometres, not stopping for a minute, fearing I might die from blood loss and frostbite.' 

Andrey said he called a friend as soon as he got within cell phone coverage, and was driven to hospital. 

Doctors say he is in a ‘moderately bad condition’ and will survive. 

Hunting officials are now to visit the site in Olginsky district of Primorsky region to find the tiger’s remains, and check the man’s account from marks in the snow. 

Amur tiger attacks hunter

Amur tiger attacks hunter

The case is to be thoroughly examined amid suspicions about the wounded man’s account. Pictures: Vesti Primorye

Siberian tigers are a protected species, their survival is threatened by poachers. 

The hunter insisted that this animal has been already wounded, claiming the place where the big cat was lying before attacking him was covered in blood. 

This might explain why the tiger attacked Korchevsky, but the case is to be thoroughly examined amid suspicions about the wounded man’s account. 

Hunting control officer Dmitry Pankratov said: 'How did this happen? What exactly was this man doing there? Why did the tiger attack him? 

‘There might be all sorts of circumstances as to what happened, but we have not had tigers attacking humans like this for a very long time. 

‘This is not a kind of an animal that just jumps on a man like this.

‘Tigers are incredibly cautious, they have to be seriously provoked to attack.’

Amur tiger attacks hunter
There are only 540 or so Siberian tigers in the wild in eastern Russia. Picture: Vesti Primorye

The type of wounds on the tiger's body, and traces at the site, will help the experts figure out exactly what happened. 

Sergey Aramilev, director of the Amur Tiger Centre said on the incident: 'Tiger attacks are almost never unprovoked. The victim said the tiger was already injured. If this turns out to be true, then this was indeed a reason for attack, as large predators often try to take revenge after being wounded by a human.  

'Yet the hunter's version of the story raises many questions. 

‘If the tiger attacks first, then the human has practically no chance to escape, and there is no time to shoot. We'll have a clear picture of what happened after Hunting Control and police officials study the site.' 

It is estimated there are only 540 or so Siberian tigers in the wild in eastern Russia.

The population is now rising thanks to curbs on poaching, and efforts to ensure the habitats of the wild animals are sustainable. 

Comments (1)

What a shame he will survive! But, who knows, maybe there's still time something happens before he's got the chance to kill another animal...
Suzana, Sao Paulo/Brazil
29/03/2018 00:57

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