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. Deepwater805

    It's a shame that the cat was the one to die, and not the vermin poachers.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. devines

    I agree with you Brown...You read about things being done to our wild life, but more important about what the human species are doing to their own..

    November 16, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kathy

    the onlyway an animal can escape is to die chinese have no respect for life they skin animals alive to make fur many of these are pets stolen from their owners

    November 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. M in Oz

    "The circle of life" is an excuse to wash your hands and sleep at night. Where do your food and the material for your clothes come from? Destroyed habitats.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. devines

    An excuse to wash my hands???? I understand that God made animals for food & clothing.. and I am thinking even for the use of medicines. Again, the "cirlce of LIFE". We all have our purpose...even the animals...

    November 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • KateB

      There is no God, and that is a very egocentric, childish, and selfish view of the world: "animals are SOLELY here to be eaten/used up" – DISGUSTING!

      November 17, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nick

    It is my view that preservation of endangered species should be a priority over most political ambitions. Poaching is an evil that must be eradicated immediately in order to establish better survival chances of endangered species. It is worrying to me that the countries involved, such as China and North Korea, don’t have many environmental ideals. If a species is extinct, it disappears in the whole world, not just in those countries. It is a great responsibility of the native tiger range countries to ensure the thriving survival of their tiger population. I do not trust China especially in that it proposed to farm tiger body parts. It angers me that China’s resolve is to meet its problems with more industry and manufacturing. I hope that a viable solution is enacted.

    November 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Wild Hurricane

    It's terrible that this still goes on. Such beautiful creatures. After 35 years, i finally conceeded (about two months ago) that these creatures should be regarded as being as preciovs as humans. They are getting scarce, and after all, they are not too much of a threat to most of us. Also, for some reason, it seems that God gave most of the creatures in this current evolutionary display, a soul that has caring and underderstanding entwined into its physiological and pyschological makeover. It's like we are in a love-stage, where all creatures and humans can share a bond of understanding and love. There are some wild untangibles but that just adds more pleasure to the observations of life LIFE. We, on planet Earth, have the most awesome and spectacular animals known to any imagination, known to mankind. They deserve Honor and Respect- to LIVE- the Right To NOT Die by human hands (for reasons not related directly to the preservation of human emergencies).

    November 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mike

    i think we should kill all the poachers and their family to extinction.....

    November 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sujan

    I do not support killing animals but it does not matter if any animal is extinct. Does it bother you that you have not seen a dinosaur for real?

    November 16, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • GottobeKidding

      Do you lack a basic understanding of biology, nature, and ecology? That has to be one of the most blatantly ignorant comments I've seen on CNN.

      November 17, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Shaq

    Sujan, you do not know your cornium from your glutiousmaximous, come back in twenty years, you will have actually developed some viable sense by then. You will understand someday. Be happy while looking for it, knowing you will find it.

    November 17, 2010 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. Shaq

    Well, hey! I dont know my cornium from my butt either. lol. cranium, right?

    November 17, 2010 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. tigere's mom

    I haven't been this encouraged about the fate of mankind in a long time – reading your messages of revulsions about killing off ian nnocent rare animal or species gives me some hope there is a moral sense of responsibility left that just might save the whole planet from extinction. Mother Nature is all about balance and coexistence, not eradication for personal gain. Bravo for all who are speaking up, but are you also writing to those attending the conference to save these wonderful creatures?? DO IT! and thank you!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Matrix

    Let's think about this for a minute? There are Chicken Farms, Pig Farms, Beef Farms, Fish Farms etc. Get the idea? What about pot farms? The conditions for these animals are no different than they would be for the Tigers. That would stop poaching for body parts, pretty much. Don't you think that cows and pigs and chickens know they are going to get slaughtered? They know it. They see you walking around the barn everyday, laughing and joking with coworkers, scratching your butt, knowing you are going to lob a sledgehammer on their heads, missing and missing, until five bludgeons later, you might get it right? Then what? What's for dinner? Do you really think it's different then it would be for the tiger? I Don't Think So! So, What is for your dinner? No different. Maybe it will help save those in the wild. That is the most important thing here! Listen to me! Maybe the farms could give 1 in 5 tigers to the wild. 2 in 5. What is their population growth versus survival rate in the wild? Hire the poachers so they are left wandering around poaching. Anybody have the data on this?

    November 17, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Olya

      Look up Chinese bear bile farms. The atrocity ...the torture. Yeah, leave it to Chinese to figure out, how to manage a tiger farm.
      The desire for tiger parts is sick. Instead of feeding the stupidity, educate and prohibit.

      But if you insist that a bunch of tigers should live the rest of their lives in feces laden cages ..well, then why wont we set up children camps for pedophiles to come and fullfil their needs so they leave the rest of the kids alone. The suffering of the few for the sake of the population is worth it, right?

      And no, these wild animals are no different in their suffering and pain and the comprehending of their misery from little kids going through the same thing.

      November 17, 2010 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Matrix

    edit. are not left wandering.

    November 17, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Wild Hurricane

    It's a wild hurricane!

    November 17, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
    • wild gone wild

      The hurricane just blows!

      November 17, 2010 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
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