VLADIVOSTOK, March 28 (RIA Novosti) – A large male Amur tiger returned to Russia 20 days after it ventured into China from Russia’s Far East territory, Pavel Fomenko, head of the WWF in the Amur Region, said on Thursday.
“The tiger is back after an excursion to China, and it is fine. Although it is not rare for these predators to cross the border, this particular case showed us that there really is international cooperation between environmentalists and hunters,” Fomenko said.
He said specialists from Russia’s hunting watchdog had been tracking the tiger in Russia, but as soon as the animal crossed the border in early March, Chinese specialists joined the efforts and tracked the predator using cameras installed in the border area.
The Amur tiger was put on the list of endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The population of Amur tigers, one of six tiger subspecies found only in Russia’s Far East and in some areas of Northern China, currently numbers some 450 animals. Experts estimate that between 30 and 50 Amur tigers are killed by poachers and unscrupulous hunters every year.
Tiger hunting is a profitable business for poachers in the border area between Russia and China, because tiger derivatives are highly prized in Chinese traditional medicine.