During the night from January 29 to 30, 2023 a Amur tiger was captured in the settlement Vyazemsky in Khabarovsk Region. First, the experts tried to scare the predator away from the settlement, but he decided that he would not go amicably into the forest. A post-catch examination helped to determine the reason for the tiger's conflicting behavior.
The trapping of the Amur tiger was performed by rangers from the Department of the Hunting Management of the Khabarovsk Kray Government and Khabarovsk Krai Wildlife Protection Agency with support of the Amur Tiger Center.
For the first time the tiger voiced its ideas on January 13, 2023. The animal came from the forest and dragged several dogs from the territory of a car service center and a private house on the outskirts of the settlement. On the first night, hunting control inspectors drove the tiger away several kilometers, but it returned, becoming more cautious since then. It was decided to capture the tiger.
"There is no 100% reliable and always workable way to deter any large predator, not just the tiger, from a population center with easily accessible dogs and livestock. Scare measures are effective only for some time and at some moment the animal's desire for easy prey outweighs the fear of any noise and light special devices," Yuriy Kolpak, acting Head of the Department of Hunting and Game Management of the Khabarovsk krai government, said. - Trapping the tiger, which has to be done when repellent measures do not help, requires silence and stealth in the work of the inspectors. This is a very smart and cautious animal with a complicated behaviour; it learns its previous experience very well and is quick to learn from it".
Video: Department of Hunting and Game Management of the Khabarovsk krai government
This time the inspectors outsmarted the tiger and it fell into one of the set traps. Examination showed that it was a male over 5 years old and missing one of its "toes" on its front paw. It is most likely that he was caught in a poacher's trap in the woods and the trauma prevented him from hunting large ungulates.
"It is difficult to say exactly when the injury occurred, but it is obvious that it is causing the beast a lot of discomfort. In the field it was stitched up and treated, and now the post-operative recovery will depend only on the tiger himself. The big predator is clearly in no mood to let the doctors up every time they decide to look at how the wound is healing," says Ivan Shakhov, veterinarian-expert of Khabarovsk City Animal Disease Control Station.
Whether the tiger will return to the taiga or not will depend on post-surgery recovery process. If the tiger is found to be well healed and can hunt on his own, he will be released into the wild far from populated areas where the territory is not yet occupied by other males. But how do you ensure that he lives a conflict-free life with humans?
"In the whole story of the "Vyazemsky" tiger, it is telling how quickly and abundantly the conflict situation was covered in myths and speculation. For every credible video, there were 3-4 fake ones, and at some point it got to the point where one conflicted animal turned into five at once," says Sergey Aramilev, the general director of the Amur Tiger Center. - Yes, one predator has been caught and driven away, but we can't rule out the possibility of another tiger taking its place - it could be a bear, a tiger again, followed by the next one, and so on. This will happen as long as the conditions that led to it persist. So in addition to the measures that experts are taking to increase the food supply for predators, the plan is to make recommendations for keeping domestic and farm animals in areas where large predators live mandatory."
The tiger will undergo post-operative rehabilitation at the "Utes" rehabilitation center in Khabarovsk Krai. The costs of treatment and housing the tiger were covered by the Amur Tiger Center.