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Tigress who came out of the woods to seek help can be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out

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27 May 2020


The rescued Amur tiger cub is 9 to 10 months old. Picture from a trail camera courtesy PRNCO 'Tiger Center'

The young Amur tigress was seen walking close to houses and resting for long hours in back yards of Gornovodnoye village in Primorsky district, and on a side of a motorway. 

The big cat showed no aggression, and no pets or livestock were missing, but the tiger’s presence around humans for nearly three weeks was unnerving for the residents and signalled serious health issues with the animal. The endangered animal was also an easy target for poachers. 

Experts from the regional Hunting Surveillance department hoped that mother tiger would appear, but after two weeks of air and land monitoring they concluded that the cub was orphaned and needed help. 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 
The rare predator was caught after weeks of wandering into a village in Russian Far East. Pictures: PRNCO 'Tiger Center'

The tigress was caught on 16 May and delivered to ‘Centre Tiger’ for medical  observation and temporary stay. First checkups showed that the cub had no wounds. Her complete blood count was normal, results of separate virus tests are yet to arrive. 

The cub’s weight is 54 kilogram and despite her looking quite well-fed experts believe she is quite malnourished due to issues with feeding. Her teeth hasn’t changed from milky yet and are in good condition except for two broken incisors. 

The cub’s age was identified as nine to ten months, which is half a year younger than the experts thought earlier. 

What puzzles the Centre Tiger's team is the tigress’s behaviour which continues to be nowhere near as aggressive as it should be with an Amur tiger.  

‘It’s rare to see orphaned tiger cubs in May as normally mothers don’t give up on cubs of that age. Quite likely the tigress was killed by a poacher or died from a natural cause, though it is not impossible that the cub was kept by people before it escaped or was thrown out.

'Certain strange traits in the tigress’s behaviour allow us to think that the cub could have stayed with humans’, said Sergey Aramilev, director of Amur Tiger Centre in the Far East of Russia. 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

Amur tigress who came out to people to seek help might be a pet who escaped owners or was thrown out 

PRNCO 'Tiger Center'
The tigress spends most of her time sleeping, the rehabilitation centre team's said. Pictures: Anna Blidchenko/PRNCO 'Tiger Center'

The latest update on the tigress’s health was received on 26 May and suggests that the she is beginning to feel better. The cub still doesn’t drink water and prefers meat broth, her digestive system seems to be working fine, but her behaviour remains unusually calm. 

‘She doesn’t even attempt to get out of the enclosure and spends her days mostly sleeping’, the Centre Tiger team said. 

After the rare cat completes all medical tests, the rehabilitation centre’s team will concentrate on her re-introduction to the wild. 

It will be possible if the tigress will show that her hunting instincts are intact and that her attitude to humans is back to being a lot more cautious. 


The Amur tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats. About 600 grown up animals - 95% of the world population - live in Primorsky Krai, Khabarovsk regions, Amur region and the Jewish Autonomous region in the Far East of Russia. 

Some Amur tigers live in China and in North Korea. 

Next tiger census in Russia will be held in winter 2021-2022. 


Team of  PRNCO 'Tiger Center' have rehabilitated 7 tigers and 1 African lion.

Of them, 6 tigers were released into their natural habitat. Five of them became fully adapted to life in the wild.

The first female Zolushka (Cinderella), which had passed the full course of rehabilitation, was observed with two cubs in December 2015. The tigers Svetlaya (Bright) and Boris, released in 2014, formed a couple. 

The Centre was founded September 19, 2012.

Comments (135)

what if she cannot fend for herself in the wild? What will become of her?please protect her. Too beautiful of an animal to be sacrificed
Dani v., us
28/05/2020 04:00
What a beautiful creature ! Why did you put her under anesthesia if as you say she was docile when found ? Anyway, as you say, she may be returned to the natural environment, but this tigress seems to like human company. Could she go to a Wildlife Park or another human owner ? Please update us all on what becomes of this passive tiger. Thank you for caring. from
Valerie O' Brien. , Bristol , Great Britain
28/05/2020 03:57
What wonderful photos. Thank you for everything you do in looking after the Amur Tiger population, they are indeed the most stunning animals, and need all the help we can give them.
Helen, England
28/05/2020 03:41
Good thing Donald and Eric weren’t around. It would be hanging on a wall now.
Donnie, Ronkonkomo USA
28/05/2020 03:29
How sad that these animals need our help! If humans weren't the ego driven, greedy, ignorant species OVER POPULATING this wonderful planet forcing these amazing animals to the brink they would have the territory and freedom to actually live their lives to the fullest in the wild! But with idiots murdering them for their body parts (when they could simply take a pill) and other idiots trophy murdering them (when they should simply trophy murder eachother) and others forcing them to be pets, perform "tricks", torture them (like bear baiting where bears are chained then attacked by dogs), etc.....etc.....etc. just 1 more reason to be ashamed of my species. RESCUING HER gives me a minute of fresh air and a teeny bit of faith in SOME humans.....THANK YOU for rescuing her. I will donate.
Lisa Shinn, United States
28/05/2020 03:07
I do pray she goes to a sanctuary to be more protected and watched. Obviously she is not as wild as she should be.
Holly Fielder, United States
28/05/2020 03:01
Just gorgeous thank you for saving.. omg
Debi gilliatt, East Peoria USA
28/05/2020 01:52
She is absolutely gorgeous. What an honor to help her it must be.
TONI COOLEY, United States
27/05/2020 22:33
The tiger is an orphan! He is sad and he needs love. Godspeed
Jack Brisson , Cranston RI USA
27/05/2020 21:18
Tigers are my favorite animal. Picture's of these beautiful creatures cover just about everything I own. I watch everything I can about them. I will send u a donation my next check from ssdi. THANK U FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FOR THEM.
27/05/2020 21:16
Beautiful animal.
Garn, Ridgeway / Ontario
27/05/2020 21:09
She is a beautiful cat, praise to you all for the work and caring that you do.
Bill, Ontario, Canada
27/05/2020 21:06
What a beautiful animal. I'm glad shes been kept safe and treated instead of destroyed.
Keep up the amazing work you do. These animals need our help to stay alive.
Becca, England
27/05/2020 20:22
She is beautiful and so photogenic, I love her and am happy to see her so healthy!
Michelle, Australia
27/05/2020 20:04
Congratulations for the work you do
María José González Martín, España
27/05/2020 16:19

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