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'In Siberia… the land is richly blessed and all that is needed is to make the most of it'

Freak weather means animals are sitting targets for poachers, warns WWF

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 March 2013

Wild hoofed animals are in peril in the Far East of Russia due to exceptionally heavy snow falls which are covered by an ice crust.

Get me out! This musk-deer got stuck on the roof, seaching for food in the town of Gorno-Altaisk. Picture: The Siberian Times

Many are dying because they cannot get food through the thick snow - while others are easy targets for illegal poachers. Worst hit are boars, Manchurian wapitis and roe deer.

'Dense snow which fell in January and was followed by a thaw in early February has created critical environmental conditions for the survival of wild hoofed animals. The snow is almost two meters thick in some places,' said the Amur branch of WWF Russia. 

Young and more mature animals are hit by the exceptionally thick snow. 

Many poachers are exploiting the conditions to shoot animals stuck in the snow drifts, said Vladimir Vasilyev, who heads the local hunting authority.

Hunting is banned at this time of year. 

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