Two tigers to be released in the Amur Region taiga in mid-May

Two tigers to be released in the Amur Region taiga in mid-May

7 May 2019

The Amur tigers Pavlik and Yelena, who are currently staying at the Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals (Tiger Centre), will soon be released into the wild on 14-15 May in the southern Amur Region.


According to Valery Pogosiyenko, head of the wildlife preservation and protected areas department at the Directorate for the Protection and Use of Wildlife and Protected Areas of the Amur Region, the release of the two young tigers might increase the tiger population in the Amur River basin.


“The Amur Region is the native range of the tigers; they have always lived here. In 2014, we released three tigers here, Ilona, Kuzya and Boris. Now we are looking forward to releasing Pavlik and Yelena. We have picked out for them an area far away from towns and villages, with a good number of prey. We already spoke to the locals and created a response group which will deal with potential conflict situations. There is a practical reason behind our desire to take in Pavlik and Yelena: wolves tend to leave areas inhabited by tigers, and wolves have been a menace for the locals over the past several years. We hope that the increasing tiger population will help us solve these problems,” Pogosiyenko said.


Pavlik and Yelena were captured together with their mother in early 2018. It turned out that their mother was not able to return to the wild, but the cubs have a chance to do so. The brother and sister underwent a year-long adaptation programme and showed great results.


“We can say today that both tigers demonstrate perfect hunting skills and easily hunt adult deer and boars. We are also pleased to see that they do their best to avoid humans. Veterinarian check-ups show that they are healthy, and there are no obstacles for releasing them,” said Viktor Kuzmenko, director of the Tiger Centre.


Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Centre, noted that the personal life of the tigers does not raise concerns.


“They are brother and sister, but after the release, they will go their own ways and live far from each other, which will prevent inbreeding. But you should not worry about their love life: in the Jewish Autonomous Region there are many tigers and tigresses that will be happy to pair with the new tigers,” Aramilev added.


Pavlik and Yelena will be released near the border with the Jewish Autonomous Region, where a sustainable tiger population has been created in the past few years due to the reintroduction efforts.