Tiger cub Rosomakha makes progress in recovery

Tiger cub Rosomakha makes progress in recovery

18 March 2021

Rosomakha (Wolverine), the tiger cub who had surgery to restore leg mobility, is making a successful recovery, according to specialists from the Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in the village of Alekseyevka, the Primorye Territory. They took X-rays of the young predator’s limbs and performed another veterinary examination.


Taking part in the examination were experts of the Tiger Centre and the Amur Tiger Centre, employees of the Primorye Territory hunting supervision service and Nikita Vereshchak, the trauma surgeon from Vladivostok Clinic No. 2 who operated on the cub’s injured leg together with a colleague.


According to Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Centre, the X-rays showed that the recovery process is going better than expected, and not only for the surgically repaired left front leg (experts mended the broken humerus, ulna and radius), but also for the right front and right hind legs, which did not require surgery.


“The X-ray showed that the fractures in the hind and right front legs have also healed, moreover naturally. In the videos from Rosomakha’s enclosure, we can see that he still has an uneven gait, limping on his injured leg. However, this will not present a big problem for him while running fast, since it is speed that will make him an effective predator. Now he moves quite fast for his age,” said Sergei Aramilev.


After the examination, Rosomakha moved once again from his quarantine enclosure to a more spacious rehabilitation space. According to Sergei Aramilev, the larger enclosure is another step in the rehabilitation process and in preparing Rosomakha for release into the wild.


“For obvious reasons, he spent the first month at the rehabilitation centre in a warm quarantine unit. Once his post-surgery wounds healed, he gained access to a quarantine open-air enclosure while he still could return to the warm unit for the night. Now he has to get used to how tigers live in the wild, so he was moved to a rehabilitation enclosure. Despite his long stay in the quarantine unit and more frequent human contact than other rehabilitated tigers had, Rosomakha still shows normal aggressiveness for a wild tiger and an appropriate response to humans, which is necessary for continuing to prepare for his release into the wild. Of course, it is still a long way off, and the final decision will be made based on an evaluation of many factors, but he stands a chance for such an outcome, and, hopefully, he will take advantage of it. We believe in him,” Aramilev noted.


Moving Rosomakha into a new enclosure will allow him to interact with the tigress Sanda, who lives in a neighbouring enclosure. Now both tigers are only separated by the enclosure fencing.


“Social interaction with other tigers is another very important element of their rehabilitation and will be useful both for Rosomakha and Sanda, who, by the way, will soon be released into the wild. Although the tigers have an age gap, I think they will be able to make friends during the time left before the tigress’s release,” Viktor Kuzmenko, director of the Tiger Centre, believes.


At the moment, three Amur tigers are undergoing rehabilitation in the Primorye Territory. In addition to Sanda and Rosomakha, a tiger caught on 7 March in the village of Soboliny (Pozharsky District, Primorye Territory) is staying at the Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in the village of Alekseyevka.


Another tigress who had been in rehab in the village of Alekseyevka since December 2020 was released into the wild on 24 January 2021 in a central district of Primorye. Data from her tracking collar indicate that she settled in Call of the Tiger National Park. She was nicknamed Zima (Winter) following an online vote held in early March.

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