Anticipated pairing of rehabbed Amur tigers

Svetlaya and Borya have formed a pair, and we are hopeful that Svetlaya will give birth to cubs, if she hasn’t already.It has been seven months since we celebrated the mating and eventual birth of cubs to Zolushka, a successfully rehabilitated and released Amur tiger. We are happy to report that two other tigers released as part of this important tiger conservation project are interacting in the Zhuravliny Sanctuary of Far East Russia and may mate soon.

Female tiger Svetlaya was released in the Sanctuary in June 2014, and immediately established her range within the Sanctuary borders. Male tiger Borya, released within the Zheludinsky Sanctuary, traveled more than 500 km to reunite with her.

In December 2015, their meeting in the wild was registered for the first time (before that, the tigers saw each other only at the rehabilitation center). They subsequently met many times and spent periods lasting several days together.

Movement of the tigers is captured via GPS collars. Monitoring groups have travelled to locations where the tigers met and installed photo traps. Their similar hunting locations signify that the young tigers have formed a pair, and we are hopeful that Svetlaya will give birth to cubs, if she hasn’t already.

READ: Released orphaned tigers Borya and Svetlaya survive second winter in wild

The Zhuravliny Sanctuary now has a cross-country vehicle to be used in wildlife conservation and monitoring. The International Fund for Animal Welfare donated funds to purchase a snow and swamp-going vehicle (a GAZ-3409 “Bobr”) specifically for the monitoring of these two tigers.

The monitoring team includes representatives of Primorskii Regional Non-Commercial Organization's Center for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals (PRNCO Tiger Center), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), inspectors of the Hunting Inspection of the regional government, and it is supported by the "Phoenix" Fund and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

--EB

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