November 16th, 2010
03:35 PM ET

Hunters nabbed with slain, endangered Siberian tiger

Amur tigers, like this one at the Kiev Zoo in Ukraine, are endangered in the wild.

A rare Amur tiger – one of 300 to 400 estimated to remain in the wild - was killed by poachers near Vladivostok, Russia, an animal rescue group said Tuesday.

The Siberian tiger was found by an International Fund for Animal Welfare anti-poaching patrol in Primorye Province, according to an IFAW news release.

The group says the area (which includes parts of China and North Korea) is home to the last of the wild Amur tigers, which was on the brink of extinction in the 1940s with only 40 remaining worldwide before a vigorous conservation effort.

Four suspected poachers caught with the dead, 5-year-old male tiger were arrested by rangers from the Khasan district of the province, IFAW said. One of the hunters had been injured by the big cat and required hospitalization.

If convicted, the hunters face a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $20,000 fine, IFAW said.

"We can't save the tigers unless we combat rampant poaching, which is the single greatest threat to the survival of this species," the group’s director, Masha Vorontsova, said.

Governments of the 13 so-called tiger range countries will meet in St. Petersburg, Russia, next week to come up with a plan to save tigers from extinction. Through the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit, which begins Sunday, the governments hope to double the wild tiger population in the next dozen years.

The blackmarket for tiger products was highlighted last month when 25 suspected traffickers in tiger body parts were arrested in a six-country INTERPOL sting. More than 110 pounds of tiger bone – including the animals’  skulls and skeletons – were confiscated.

Chinese tiger-breeding centers have proposed creating tiger farms to cull the animals' body parts, thereby diminishing demand for the products and lessening the chances they might be hunted in the wild. The idea has met with resistance from environmental groups.

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Filed under: Animals • China • Crime • Environment • North Korea • Russia
soundoff (351 Responses)
  1. Norms

    This is truly disgusting and disappointing. Humans were put on this planet after plants and animals, yet we feel they belong to us. Its a shame that a beautiful creature named Tiger died taking away beauty from the world and the IDIOT ****s still get to live on, bringing forth more ignorance into this world. I hope they die, along with ppl who destroy tigers.

    November 18, 2010 at 2:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ksurfer

    Just stop killing animals for body parts no matter what!!!

    November 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ksurfer


    November 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Norms

    The world is a dangerous place due to stupid, ignorant, evil, heartless people. Blaming tigers for the world's danger is just ignorant and just shows what a true moron you are. YOU should just drop dead and make the world a better place. This world doesn't need anymore ppl like you.

    November 18, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tamara Coper

    I hope the meeting in Russia finally will give result for the tigers future... Thank you. Sincerely, Tamara Coper-TamaraDesign, Sweden

    November 19, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Susan

    Why hospitalize a poacher? Just let the bugger suffer with his wounds like he made the tiger suffer. Kill a protected animal, take your chances.

    November 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Alex

    I think that all who think that the U.S should donate more than $9.2 millon say i. Because Germany donated $17.2 millon. Also tigers deserve to live cause how would u like it if they started coming around and killing us like that!!!!!! ............................tigers have feeling too you Know!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :( :( :( :(

    November 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
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