Specialists catch tiger cubs on a military base in Primorye

Specialists catch tiger cubs on a military base in Primorye

3 December 2012

In the early hours of 3 December, specialists caught two of the three tiger cubs that had been spotted earlier on the territory of a military base in Primorye Territory. No footprints of the cubs' mother have been found, said a representative of the regional department of the Tiger Special Inspectorate. The tiger cubs, aged four months, are currently being examined by vets in a rehabilitation centre near the village of Alekseyevka, he said.

The orphan tigress Zolushka (Cinderella), caught last winter, has been undergoing rehabilitation in the special rehabilitation centre built in the Primorye Territory in 2011 by the Tiger Special Inspectorate and the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the Programme for Amur Tiger Research in the Far East of Russia. The scientists are planning to release the tigress in spring 2013. The programme is being conducted by the Permanent Expedition of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the support of the Russian Geographical Society.

"The captured tiger cubs are weak, but their condition is not critical. They ran quite quickly from our specialists across the taiga," said the representative of the inspectorate. The tiger cubs will undergo rehabilitation lasting till spring 2014. "They will grow up, learn to track their prey and hunt. The weakened tiger cubs are unlikely to be released in winter. Scientists and veterinarians will monitor them," said the specialist.

The third tiger cub was caught later, on 5 December. "It has taken us so long to catch it that the cub is now tired and hungry. Today it will be fed and warmed and then dispatched to our rehabilitation centre," he said. In the centre, the cubs will stay in a special enclosure. When the cubs get stronger they will be transferred to a large open-air enclosure. "The other two tiger cubs are already okay, they are getting good care. The search for their mother will probably stop, because snow is now 50-centimetre deep in the Yakovlevsky District, so it is useless to continue the search," he said.