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. DJ

    Might there be more to the story that CNN isn't reporting? One of the hungers was INJURED by the tiger. If the tiger injured the hunter first and was killed in self-defense, that might change our perception a little bit. If you're intentionally poaching, you would try to shoot the animal from a safe distance.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Chupacabra

      Tigers are hard to kill, stupid. And, they are extremely successful hunters. They weren't killing it in self defense. They were poachers, and it's the Chinese ignorance that keeps them trying to kill Tigers to get the Asian junk working – which, with proper education they would find that tiger bones do not make a man virile at all. The whole mess makes me sick.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      (again).. And while running in terror, they picked up a TIGER carcass and put it in the back of their truck. I mean, really? Self defense? And you bring the body home with you?

      November 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yoda

      They often don't shoot the tiger because they don't want to put holes in the hide. They run it to exhaustion with dogs and then bludgeon and strangle it. There are videos of it online if you don't believe me. Siberian tigers are extremely unlikely to attack people anyway, much less so than Indian tigers for example. So the self-defense scenario isn't really plausible.

      November 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tensor

    "tiger breeding centers" for their body parts? The human species keeps falling to new ignorant lows.
    And btw, anyone who has ever been to the Kiev zoo will tell you it is a heartbreaking horrific pit of shame, especially the big cats and primates.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Oneleg

      ever hear of a CATTLE FARM? Ever have a steak, leather couch, leather seats, new leather boots? How about some venison... Captive breeding = relief of pressure on the wild animal.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Chupacabra

      But cows are domestic livestock, not wild, like Tigers. The posts are too ignorant to even comment on sometimes.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      I feel that way about most any zoo. Heartbreaking horrific pits of shame.

      November 17, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Nik

      I agree with you tensor, Just look all the way in India, their lives are spared every day. I feel sorry for the ones in Russia. Poaching is wrong in Russia. I want to see those Poachers pay up their fine of $20,000 or go to jail for three years. I want to say to ASPCA please help those tigers in Russia? They could use you there. Activists will be protesting the killing of the Siberian tiger. That is the one who can blend in with its surroundings.

      November 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • 20 Year Veggie

      So, because YOU deem a cow to be in one column of your moral ledger, and tigers in another, their lives are worth less, as are pigs, etc. BUT THEY'RE DOMESSSSSTIIIIICCCCC!!!! That means they suffer and die LESS? I agree with Tensor, if you can decide some animals are okay to kill, why won't you let the Chinese? Or, you could just stop using animal products, which I can tell you is totally easy.

      November 23, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Patrick

    Burn these men alive on international TV to set a message to all potential poachers out there, it's the only way to stop it.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bobby G

    I'm gonna have to agree with Easy E.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Zebula

    Damn Chinese. Why does a grossly overpopulated nation need a supposed aphrodisiac from an endangered animal? The irony is dumbfounding. Let another tiger finish the job this one started.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Chupacabra

      It they only knew the reason their junk doesn't work is their overwhelming ingestion of soy products. Stupid.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ryan

    As long as civilization expands endlessly, the tigers will lose more and more of their habitat.
    They die because we encroach on their land. So much of their original habitat is under asphalt now.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Patrick F

    I'd like to hunter big game hunters. That would not only be a lot of fun, it would be an even playing field. My intelligence against their intelligence. My weapon against their weapon. It doesn't take a 'big man' or a 'big woman' to kill a tiger or a lion or an elephant. It takes a moron. C'mon, let's have some fun. Same goes for the baby seal hunters. Let's go hunting!!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Nimrod

      I suspect that the hunters would have the edge. We are familiar with our weapons and with the tactics that allow us to harvest our intended targets. We know how to get close with out being detected, and we are acquainted with what it takes to put a bullet on target. I will say that I abhor illegal actions taken by so called hunters, and see no excuse for killing endangered species and find senseless killing of anything offensive. In my family we eat what we harvest, and unless you are a strict vegetarian and use no animal products, you have no real standing to denigrate honorable, legal hunters. The greatest threat to all creatures on this limited environment we know as Earth is the completely out of control growth of the human population.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      Calling these poachers "hunters" is like calling crack dealers "businessmen."

      November 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. guy

    yeah america and the west has never done anything that led to the extinction of species lol pffft /rollseyes

    November 17, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Grizzlylover

      You mean like the American Indian? Well, at lest their better off for us managing them, look at all the stuff we gave them: Smallpox, Alcoholism, Starvation, Ridicule, Stereotyping and the complete denial of their heritage. But, they do have some cool Casinos now

      November 17, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • brent

      pretty good point, i think of the Passenger Pigeon off the top of my head, easy to sit behind and a computer and throw beer bombs at other cultures for thier actions on environemntal issues. Yet it would seem Americans have forget their legacy of "environtmetnal protection"...including Douglas Firs, buffalo, condors, etc etc etc etc etc. did I mention oil spills in the gulf, the decemation of the great lakes, coal burning for hydro power. Maybe....clean up your own back yard before you point fingers....???

      November 17, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • tony

      The huge, pre-gasoline era, American Whaling Industry was responsible for the drastic reduction in whales we still have.

      November 17, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. BRod

    I hope these hunters enjoy the world they are creating by eradicting species. Their greedy bloodlust is destroying the world for the rest of us.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. G

    Yes what the hunters did was bhad for killing dhat tiger but look at it from there point of view the tiger had attack them so they killed it...... and lets not bash on China the US is not all that either....lets stop bashing on others and think about it everyone makes mistakes in their lives.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      ...And then after they killed it in self defense, running away in terror, they picked up the 700lb body and hid it in the back of their truck.

      November 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Woodsong

    Kill the poachers!!!!

    November 17, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. ODA155

    I say let the "hunters" become the hunted. Flog them and turn them loose so that the animals can extract their own justice... but that's just me.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joe Schmoe

    '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.'

    Brilliant, Such a simple solution. Breed them like cattle. While you are at it, breed rhinos, elephants and the rest of the endangered, constantly poached animals. The populations are dangerously low anyways. Soon there wont be enough of them to breed with out massive close inbreeding, which in turn will destroy them entirely anyways.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • DK

      Good idea!

      November 17, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • JC

      riiiiight.. you make a good point.. we should've learned our lesson from breeding cattle like..ummm..cattle.. it's too bad this type of breeding destoyed the species entirely.. now nobody will ever no what it's like to eat beef ever again.. having no more cattle sucks!! LOL

      November 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    20,000 dollar fine for a tiger that can fetch upwards of 200,000 on the black market...hardly seems fair

    November 17, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  15. jay

    Its important to remember that in 1900, there were over 90,000 wild tigers living in Russia. Now there are just 3-400. Its sad that China has a black market for these animals which encourages poaching but major numbers of them were killed for sport throughout the 20th century. With growing populations, its only a matter of time before the only tigers left are living in zoos. In some ways its awful to try to hang on to these animals when you know that they will be gone in our lifetimes sand through the hourglass.

    November 17, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
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