Tigers Borya and Svetlaya meet in Zhuravliny Sanctuary

Tigers Borya and Svetlaya meet in Zhuravliny Sanctuary

22 December 2015

The Russian Academy of Sciences permanent expedition for the monitoring of animals from the Russian Red Data Book and other rare species of the Russian fauna reported that Amur tigers Borya and Svetlaya met in the Zhuravliny Sanctuary in the Jewish Autonomous Region on 19 December. Scientists are monitoring the predators with the help of GPS tracking collars.


Six orphaned tiger cubs were released into the wild in 2013-2014 after special training at the Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers in the village of Alexeyevka  (Primorye Territory) as part of the programme to restore the Amur tiger population in the northwest of its habitat (in the Amur and Jewish Autonomous Regions). One of the tigers, the tigress Zolushka, who was released in the Bastak Nature Reserve, has already given birth to several cubs after meeting tiger Zavetny. This proved that the right technology for restoring populations of rare wild cats had been devised by the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences.


Scientists said that Borya and Svetlaya were also forming a pair bond. Borya together with two other orphaned cubs, Kuzya and Ilona, were released in the Amur Region by President Vladimir Putin in May 2014. A month later, Svetlaya and Ustin were released in the Jewish Autonomous Region.


The tigress Svetlaya stayed alone in the Zhuravliny Sanctuary and the surrounding area. Borya at first didn’t wander far from the Zhelundinsky Sanctuary, where he had been set free. But this October, the tiger began moving more freely around the Amur Region and came to the Zhuravliny Sanctuary in November. Since then, Borya and Svetlaya followed the same routes, left their marks in the same places, and went to each other’s hunting areas. In the past 10 days, their routes covered the same 100 sq km and finally they met. Within three days, the tigers have travelled a distance of 4 km and have been hunting successfully.


Data from GPS tracking collars allows scientists to see how Amur tiger reintroduction is progressing (how well they can hunt in the wild, how they avoid clashes with humans, and how they breed) and also to gain new important information about tiger biology.