New Amur tiger cub continues to improve, become more independent

© PRPO “Center Tiger”

The young female tiger cub who had been admitted to PRPO “Tiger Center” six weeks ago has continued to improve and has become much better nourished. For the first time camera traps registered a day-time hunt for a rabbit.

One more enclosure was opened for her to use and as a result, her territory has increased twofold.

She has stopped going back to the heated space, instead preferring to rest in a constructed wooden booth

She continues to behave with a lot of caution. While she demonstrates a lot of orientation behaviors (e.g. listening, looking around), at the slightest sign of danger the tiger stops and then moves to it’s hiding place. Most often she only goes out to the meat left for her to eat during the night.

© PRPO “Center Tiger”

A heavy snowfall complicated the life of the young animal. For two days she stayed in the far corner of the enclosure, as it was very difficult for her to move in the deep snow and to tread a path to the warm hut where her food was put out for her and where she usually spent the night.

The center staff had to drive into the enclosure in a specially equipped ATV to tread the paths for the tigress. After the vehicle left the enclosure, the tigress was evidently relieved, ran along the paths and could at last get to the hut to eat.

The rehabilitation of tigers is a long process. In nature the tiger cubs are ready to leave their mother when they are over 18 months old. The best time for the release is spring so that the animals can integrate into their independent life before the harsh winter falls.


If the rehabilitation of this tigress goes well and she demonstrates all necessary qualities allowing her to survive on her own, the release can be planned for the spring of 2017.

Unfortunately, the second tigress that had been admitted to the center has died.

The preliminary assessment was that she was too long on her own; experts think she may have been orphaned for as long as two months. The extreme and long emaciation may have led to muscular dystrophy, which would not allow her to move normally. She hadn’t been in good command of her paws, and that could’ve been the result of some disease.


Viktor Kuzmenko, Director, and Ekaterina Blidchenko, Biologist, at the Center for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals (PRPO “Center Tiger”) contributed to this report. –The eds.

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Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy