Iran seeks to import four more Siberian tigers from Russia

Iran seeks to import four more Siberian tigers from Russia

18 March 2011

Iran hopes Russia will send two pairs of Siberian tigers to live at Iran's Miankaleh wildlife reserve on the Caspian Sea coast. Their Russian keepers will also be invited.


Iran's Environmental Protection Organisation said it is currently in talks with Russia. "We plan to complete the sanctuary for them at Miankaleh, before settling the tigers in there. We will also invite Russian zoologists to look after them," a spokesman said.


Last April Russia sent two Siberian tigers to Iran in exchange for two Persian leopards. The Russian tigers were housed at a zoo in Tehran, where the male died late last year after developing a respiratory infection. Iranian sources say the female is also exhibiting symptoms of the disease, and has stopped eating. An investigation established that the deadly infection came from food which the zookeepers and local veterinary services had failed to check properly.


Iranian environmental authorities plan to restore Iran's extinct population of Caspian tigers, a species wiped out by reckless hunting. A total of $5 million has been spent on the tiger reintroduction project.