Young Amur tigress transported from Primorye Territory to Moscow

Young Amur tigress transported from Primorye Territory to Moscow

18 August 2022

A young tigress, taken from the wild in the Primorye Territory in December 2021 with severe frostbite and a lower jaw injury, has moved to the Moscow Zoo’s Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction. According to experts, the tigress' life is no longer at risk thanks to the efforts of doctors. However, because of her injuries, the tigress needs to have a special diet and regular veterinary supervision.


The motherless tiger cub likely encountered members of the canine family (a fox or a dog) in the taiga forest. Puncture wounds to the soft tissue on the tiger cub's lower jaw caused the muscle and skin tissues to die. Doctor Nikita Vereshchak and his assistant, Andrei Prodan, performed several surgical operations to restore the muscle tissue on the tigress’ lower jaw. However, due to the injuries, the tigress' incisors grew in crooked and no fur is growing on the damaged part of her muzzle.


“To everyone's enormous regret, the tigress’ injuries from the wild have left their mark. While her teeth can be removed and they will not play a vital role, the skin missing fur is a serious problem. If the tigress is released in the taiga, this anomaly will become a serious obstacle to independent life. The tigress will not be able to feed on her prey, since the unprotected area of skin will be repeatedly injured, which will inevitably result in suppuration in summer or frostbite in winter. In this connection, experts took a joint decision not to release the tigress into the wild. The Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources agreed with the experts' arguments, and the tigress was sent to live permanently in Moscow,” said Sergei Aramilev, director general of the Amur Tiger Centre.


The Amur Tiger Centre asked the Aeroflot airline for assistance in transporting the tigress from the Far East to Moscow. Aeroflot decided to provide this service free of charge.


“We don't transport wild animals very often, but thanks to our colleagues’ professionalism in Moscow and Vladivostok, the process went smoothly. Air travel causes any animal serious stress. Our airline staff did their best to make sure the Amur tigress was as comfortable as possible during the flight. We wish our charming passenger good health and an easy adjustment to a new place,” said Irina Lapitskaya, director of the Aeroflot branch in Vladivostok.


Now the tigress is making herself at home in a new enclosure at the Moscow Zoo’s Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction near Volokolamsk.


“We are housing the tigress at our Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction. The Moscow Zoo has considerable experience in saving Amur tigers. We are already taking care of several unfortunate tigers. The tigress is actively exploring her new territory. She is distrustful and aggressive, which is quite natural for a wild animal. The good news is that she is already showing interest in food, which means that her condition is gradually stabilising. In early autumn, the tigress will begin her course of treatment and subsequent rehabilitation under veterinarians' supervision. In the future, she will be able to take part in the programme to breed and create an artificial population of this rare and important species for our country,” said Svetlana Akulova, director general of the Moscow Zoo.


Rescuing the tigress from the wild was possible thanks to the efforts of the conflict resolution group of the Primorye Territory Hunting Supervision Service and the Amur Tiger Centre, which also covered the cost of treating and feeding the tigress during her rehabilitation. The Tiger Centre in Vladivostok organised the treatment and surgery and got doctors involved. Aeroflot airline transported the tigress free of charge.