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. pat MI

    @Adrian there are only about 400 tigers left in the wild as it says in the article,so please please have ur facts right b4 u say dumb shiz.

    November 17, 2010 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. pat MI


    November 17, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. DisgruntledGrrl

    "The idea has met with resistance from environmental groups." Of course it was. It is a good idea, though. And they should freaking do it anyway. Isn't the point "more tigers" anyway?

    November 17, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Richp, Easton, Pa

    Poison the blackmarket body parts and let them go though. Eliminate the market.

    November 17, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cathey

    The only way hunting animals is a thrill and a sport is if they have guns and it is equalized warfare. Otherwise it is just a little man with a great big gun trying to prove his manhood that is probably lacking otherwise. Humans are the only species that kill and maim...for the thrill and sport of it. The Chinese are horribly cruel. They cook and eat dog. They skin animals alive for the furs that insecure people have to wear to feel fashionable. Tigers are beautiful animals. If further generations are to see that beauty and power, then someone has to sit these idiots down and make them realize that if their manhoods don't work well...get some viagra. A little blue pill is better than hunting tigers or so called tiger farms. It is all disgusting.

    November 17, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Leah

      I hope you don't think it's a coincidence that the word Viagra is Sanskrit for tiger.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. CajunHawk

    It doesn't matter how much people rant or complain, as long as these endangered species are in 3rd world countries there is nothing the developed west can do short of sending in armed forces to protect them. Rich chinese(and they are getting richer) will continue to believe in folklore medicine despite internet ads about the wonders of viagra. Keeping endangered species in zoos to preserve them is all the west can do until these countries change enough to recognize the value of the animals.

    November 17, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. pat MI

    kill a cop not a tiger :p

    November 17, 2010 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • tkslink

      IDIOT, PIECE OF GARBAGE. Even if you are making a joke, it is not a joke. But I believe you are.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Adrian

    Tiger claw necklace? Seat covers?

    November 17, 2010 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Gregg

    Stop supporting China made junk ! Stop shopping at Wal Mart ! Stop buying unsafe Chinese goods ! The only way to put pressure on China is to hurt them in the pocket !

    November 17, 2010 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Ryanzzzz


      November 17, 2010 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. dave6092

    Poachers should be shot on should be posted all around the area as a warning..and when caught, they will be shot...

    November 17, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • mona

      ditto–and ditto to most of posts above–ppl get away with everything that is why the world is the way it is-we should "do unto others as they do to us" whatever bad thing they do we should do it back to them and teach them a lesson-get away with way way way too much in this century-we have to have more control over these things-we spend govt money on who knows what, spend it on things that really matter and the world would be a better place-greedy is the word that comes to mind-protect these animals, protect us here from gangs, when they shoot someone they should be shot not put in jail for years and we have to pick up the tab-o it just makes me crazy!!!! the world is so backward!!! do what they do in the middle east, if caught stealing, cut off their arm, etc- raping, castrate-i can tell you it would put a stop to many many bad things that happen if we were more severe in punishing bad ppl. they just laugh at us cuz they know they wont get punished too much-and just go out and do it over and over again.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Midloo

    Everyone crying out for the death of these poachers needs to simmer down a bit. Granted, this is an ugly thing to do, but this story is very Wester-centric. Read Quammen's "Monsters of God" where he went to Siberia and lived with people close to these animals. It is one of the most desolate and poverty stricken regions in the world. With one tiger kill, a person can make more than they would in 5 years. Imagine that situation before you condem them all to death. It is extremely unfortunate, but what would you do in the face of your children starving over the winter? Quammen describes some of the deep moral conundrums that can be faced with endagered tigers. It's a real problem.

    November 17, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Midloo, if these people are that desperately poor why are they having more children than they can feed? This is a wordlwide problem: billions of clueless, self-centered human animals howling about their "right" to have as many children as they want despite the unsustainable effect on their own environment! And the one effort that China makes to address this problem – its one child per family law – is self-righteously condemned by almost everyone. Human overpopulation will be fixed either intelligently or by merciless Nature, and it looks like the latter is the way it will happen.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. CC Croft

    Having a tiger farm is a great idea. The tigers can be treated humanely in their lives and killed in a humane manner. It would create jobs and take away any benefit to illegally hunting wild animals.

    I am one of the most animal savvy and animal loving people you will ever meet.

    You cannot change the cultures and the beliefs therein. So figure out how to make both sides work. The farms can teach people about the tigers and perhaps begin to change people's minds because familiarity breeds acceptance.

    Like I said, regarding creating jobs. Not only would jobs be created at the tiger farms, but places would be required to ensure all the tigers are properly fed, properly housed...

    I think the farms are a great idea – provided the animals are all treated as humanely as possible.

    November 17, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Canadian99

    Not trying to stereotype but some Chinese people have no respect for anything living and will eat anything that's literally living. I am sure if they could legally eat human body parts they would too.

    November 17, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Midloo

      And all Canadians have beady little eyes and flapping heads... am I right? am I right folks?

      November 17, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      @Midloo – funniest post I've seen in a looong time!! pwahaha

      @Canadian99 – Chinese will eat anything that's literally living? That's probably because no animals, including humans, can't sustain their bodily functions by eating non-living things like rocks and cardboard. There's just not enough proteins and vitamins in things other than plants, animals, and other living creatures. But please don't mistake eating a lot of variety for being cannibals – that's a massively ignorant assumption. I'm sure your fellow Canadians would appreciate you not identifying your nationality when makeing such stupid comments. Otherwise, we might start stereotyping Canadians as being idiots.

      November 17, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Fish

    "One of the hunters had been injured by the big cat and required hospitalization." I hope he never recovers.

    November 17, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Raine

    Don't imprison the poachers. Shoot them. And sterilize their entire familes so that no more of them can be bred. Problem solved! How utterly disgusting that such a magnificent beast is killed by ignorant so-called humans. We need to 'cull' the poachers from society.

    Remember folks, just because we support China by buying all the goods imported by our government/businesses(mostly crap by the way), THEY ARE A COMMUNIST COUNTRY. THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS AND WE CANNOT EXPECT THEM TO CARE ABOUT ANIMALS. Funny, though, when you consider that they are all animals of the lowest order.

    November 17, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Midloo

      Please stop arousing yourself with violent internet fantasies and actually research this issue. It's never as simple as these 5 paragraph stories make them out to be. Poaching is disgusting, but you're taking a very self-centered view. It's not like these guys go shoot a tiger, cash their check, and then hit the local mall with all their mouth-breathing friends. Much of the time, these people are poor beyond a measure that you can conceive with your limited imagination and empathy. This tiger might be all that separates their family from living through the winter or not.

      We should fault the system that is creating a situation where this disparity exists. Think of a solution to the problem instead of just spewing hate into the ether.

      November 17, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
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