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. Keith C Kusem

    In no way, we should blame the PEOPLES OF CHINA.. IT IS A NATION OF MUTUAL RESPECT and CANNOT BE SUBJECT TO PENALIZE DUE TO COUPLE OF "UN-MAN-KIND MONSTERS"..
    Government; a). must out-law the pratice of such medical exersizes (they certainly know it is nothing but ..... cult),
    b). provide secured/protected area/land for future of these beatiful animals.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. JCA

    CNN, please get your story straight. These are poachers, not hunters.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. Linton Dawson

    Interesting comments.....I agree with a lot of how to treat the poachers.

    I just wonder how many who've posted such things go home and eat animals on a daily basis.

    Protect the tigers – but kill the pigs and cows?

    About as sound of reasoning as the tea baggers have.

    Maybe taking a look in the mirror the next time you are responsible for killing an innocent animal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) is what is in order for a lot of you......hypocrites!

    November 17, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      Right... because eating an animal (one of millions mind you) that was raised for the purpose of being consumed, and has been for hundreds of years.... is in any way comparable to killing an animal that is on the endangered species list and selling it for profit.

      I respect and understand your argument (heck I've got vegetarians in my immediate family) but fail to see how they compare. Just imagine if all the vegetarians got their wish and it was illegal to harvest ANY meat... Where does the food come from then? Half the world would die off of starvation, and the other half would destroy the environment trying to harvest all the fruits and veggies from it.. then plants willl be endangered.... oh, and there'd be even more poachers.

      November 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • 20 Year Veggie

      Linton you are 100% right. I am surrounded by carnivores, and I hear their "Top of the Food Chain" BS all the time. Save the tiger, BUT... Save the panda, BUT... they cannot see that they arbitrarily assign personal value to species, and that assignment results in death for one and sainthood for another.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Fischdog

    Man! I wish I was super rich. I would create a super mercenary unit in Africa, whose mission would be to skin poachers alive and leave their bodies hanging from treees:)) that would be sweet.

    Hey Asia...killing tigers won't make your penis any bigger. Get over it!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. Fischdog

    Huh Linton Dawson??

    If there were 100 COWS or 100 PIGS left in the world. Believe me I would not eat cows or pigs anymore. Durrrr. Great rebuttal on your part.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • 20 Year Veggie

      Not the point. The reason those populations are so huge is because of demand. Period. Why don't you go for a hike around those lovely holding ponds around the stockyards and see what kind of environmentally friendly effects your love of cheap meat has wrought.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Compassion for Animals

    Too bad the tiger only injured one of the poachers and wasn't able to kill all four.

    November 17, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tigerskinhat

    This is too bad, that would have been one delicious Tiger burger.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Antonio

    @Easy E. You are wrong. The so called western civilization is the most barbaric people. Look how many animals, plants and people the western people put in the extinction list. Because of so called superiority, ignorance, and greed. So many animals are extinct in the world because of the demand by western cilivization. Almost hunted the whales to extinction for its oil. No more dodos, tasmanian tigers. Destroyed acres of forest for the precious wood in their native region and then conquered others for their resources. And not to mention slavery and destruction of Natives in America.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RamessesII

    I agree, wholeheartedly: Catch a poacher... Kill the lowlife on the spot. No trial necessary.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dt

    Funny. This is like us in the U.S. scratching our heads why wallstreet ripped us off. Hmmmmm I can make a billion dollars with a million dollar penalty.... YUP! Obviously if the penalty is lower than the potential reward they WONT STOP. Its logic.

    I also enjoy all of the posters who are bringing up the cattle parallel, and then the responses about cattle being domesticated so its "ok." LOL. Oh I get it. Everything we do is fine, but how DISGUSTING to suggest they raise animals for their PRODUCTS. Hipocrisy, we're SO good at it!

    November 17, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dt

    Funny. This is like us in the U.S. scratching our heads why wallstreet ripped us off. Hmmmmm I can make a billion dollars with a million dollar penalty.... YUP! Obviously if the penalty is lower than the potential reward they WONT STOP. Its logic.

    I also enjoy all of the posters who are bringing up the cattle parallel, and then the responses about cattle being domesticated so its "ok." LOL. Oh I get it. Everything we do is fine, but how DISGUSTING to suggest they raise animals for their PRODUCTS. Hipocrisy, we're SO good at it!

    November 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Brenda

    Who in the heck needs tiger body parts? Disgusting! Too bad that tiger didn't do more damage.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • 20 Year Veggie

      Who the heck NEEDS steak? Bacon? Sausage? Hamburger? Nobody "needs" any of this stuff.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. mfw55

    POX on you CNN. Refering to these criminals as hunters is BS. Done on purpose to associate the sportsman and conservationist real hunters with this bunch of human trash. No wonder your ratings are in the same shape as this beautiful animal.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. marquis

    dis is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wrong. why would u kill a endanger tiger????????????? i hope they get a huuuuuuuuuuge fine

    November 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dana

    You should all check the information and read about Tigers and their threats on Panthera's website, a non-profit organization working on saving big cats (not only tigers). Some of the comments above show lack of knowledge on this subject, or plain ignorance.

    This is the link: read it
    http://www.panthera.org/species/tiger

    November 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
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