Tiger Catches Paw In Trap For 2 Weeks But Survives

“In the recent months 5 tigers, all of them females, died because of the conflicts with the people. Most of them were killed by the poachers, one was killed in a collision with a bus on a regional land road. This is an alarming sign for the Amur tiger population which is being driven out of the forests closer to the human settlements because of habitat and prey loss, uncontrolled logging and expanding industrial activity in the region,” – says Masha Vorontsova, IFAW Russia country director.

Tiger_injured_paw A female tiger cub with an injured paw feeds on rabbit meat at a rehab center in Russia. The injury was caused by a trap set in the forest.

The Tiger Inspection Rehab Center in the Russian Far East is a project funded by IFAW that protects and helps rescue Siberian tigers. The names Amur and Siberian are commonly used, however the name "Amur" refers to the largest tiger species that can be called one of the following: Siberian, Korean, Manchurian, or North China Tiger. Siberian tigers can grow from 10 to 12 feet long. Apart from its size, the Amur Tiger is differentiated from other tiger subspecies by its paler fur and dark brown (rather than black) stripes.

In the past months, three tiger cubs have been brought in to the rehab center, all surviving impossible conditions that could have easily cost them their lives. However, all three remain strong and determined for adult tiger life. The Amur tiger is known to be more than capable of handling difficult snowy winters and the deep cold. However when cubs loose their mother the challenge of survival is nearly unbearable.

Two of the cubs that were found on a public road and brought in together were too young to be able to hunt for themselves, especially in the winter.

“These tigers look like they are only about two months old which indicates they were likely abandoned by their mother tigress,” said Igor Beliatski, of IFAW. “These tiger cubs did not yet have the skills to hunt and drink water, they would have soon died.” “They got rabbit meat for the first days but still licked the snow because they were obviously born after winter had broken out, and seem not to know how to drink water.”

The other tigher, found alone is believed to be about four months old. The young female was found by loggers in the forest with a trap gripping her paw. (See photos). Needless to say the paw was severly injured. It is believe that the cub was trapped for two weeks eating only snow! Upon arrival, rescuers performed urgent surgery.

“The tigress got the name 'Lapka', because of its rescued paw. The word 'Lapka' has two meanings in Russia: paw and charming.”

FACT: According to 2004-2005 winter tiger census, 431-529 Siberian tigers inhabit Khabarovskiy and Primorskiy districts of the Russian Far East. The Amur is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

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