Tiger, released into the wild after rehabilitation, caught on camera

Tiger, released into the wild after rehabilitation, caught on camera

6 July 2023

A young tiger, returned to the wild in the spring of 2022 after three months of rehabilitation, was recorded by a camera trap in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. Thanks to the images, experts managed to visually assess the predator’s condition and confirm the information coming from its tracking collar.


The tiger was caught on the night of 25 to 26 February 2022 near the village of Verkhny Pereval, Primorye Territory, where it attacked four dogs in two weeks. Experts determined that the tiger was 20-24 months old at that time. Vets treated and sewed up a wound on its paw and removed a broken canine tooth at the wildlife rehabilitation centre in the village of Alekseyevka.


“The tiger was at the age when it had separated from its mother and was looking for its own hunting ground. The beginning of its independent life coincided with a snowy period of winter, negative temperatures, and a low number of ungulates caused by an outbreak of African swine fever in the area where it was caught. During its wanderings, the tiger came upon an illegal dump of household waste. From there stray dogs led the tiger to a village where it began to hunt leashed dogs. In the course of this “hunting,” the tiger received a number of injuries,” said Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Centre.


In May of the same year, the tiger was returned to the wild. Before its release, the tiger was fit with a tracking collar. According to experts, the tiger has behaved calmly and has not shown aggression since its release.


“Year-round photo monitoring in the reserve allows us to observe not only the tigers that live here but also “transit” animals from the adjacent territory. Therefore, the visit of a tiger with a tracking collar could not go unnoticed. The predator was recorded once in the northern part of the reserve, in the area of ​​the Kolumbe River. Obviously, the tiger did not find available grounds, since this protected area is already occupied by another male,” said Svetlana Sutyrina, director of the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve.


The camera trap images show that the tiger has grown noticeably and is in excellent shape, which indicates that it has no problems hunting prey. According to experts, the absence of one canine tooth does not interfere with a tiger’s ability to hunt.


“Since 2013, 17 Amur tigers have been returned to the wild. Each of them has its own story and its own destiny. This male is using its second chance in the wild wisely and is leading a measured life of a tiger. As we expected during the release, there are enough ungulates in the area where the tiger settled and spent this year (in the Krasnoarmeisky District and in the south of the Terneisky District),” said Sergei Aramilev.