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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

By 0 and 0 and 0
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 a beauty of Momma Nature. This situation certainly sounds more like an unwanted pet case, where the “exotic pet” got too big for the space and the decision came to get rid of it. It’s cruel and ignorant. But I’m happy this cutie is alive and healthy, my only concern is the fact that she’s a target for poachers. Why not take her to a Sanctuary so she can stay alive and healthy, and as a female that she is, help to the keeping of the species by bringing more babies into the world!!! There is no human created rehab that will teach her the survival skills only her mother could teach her. The odds are stacked against her. She belongs in a sanctuary where she can be kept alive and healthy. Let’s not wait for these beauties to be almost extinct to do something about it. The moment to take action IS NOW that we still have them alive, genetically varied and healthy. My heart goes out to this beautiful species.
Caroline, Bronx, New York
29/05/2020 20:13
Very sad. I'm very happy to know somebody caring for her and hopefully she'll have a good life
Joann Klein-Butler, Florida-USA
29/05/2020 18:59
I tpo am so grateful to see that she is alright! I love Tigers...She hS such a sweet face...Sje must feel so lost without her Momma...I believe someone a breeder owned her and she got out somehow...I pray for a better life for her....There are big cat sanctuaries in The United States that would gladly the her....I will be thinking of you baby Girl...God Bless you and may he keep you from heart aches for this beautiful creature....
Tracie Adler, United States
29/05/2020 14:27
It's such a sweet heart. It's so beautiful. Would love to donate for its recovery. But the point remains unanswered, a tiger which actually has to be ferocious, it isn't and as termed, it may be afraid of human and have not been able to trace the mom tiger. Probably, the cub might have seen the mom tiger in a horrendous tortured situation due to which, this cub got afraid and could have ran away from the scene to survive. Though, it can't speak, hence it's emotions or words, by far rests unanswered. Anyways, would love to hear more about this cutie pies well being in coming days and months if possible
Anurag, India
29/05/2020 13:44
Wish people do care to human beings too in developing and third world countries.
Dr (Col) B K Gandhi, India
29/05/2020 13:30
You might want to do dna tests to make sure that she is purebred Amur and not crossbreed. Someone could have been using her mother for breeding. Humans are not the nicest of the animal kingdom.
Michel L Tisdale, United States
29/05/2020 13:08
I wish this baby the very best of luck. I am heartened by the lovely comments on here from fellow human beings. There is so much cruelty in this world. I hope that this beautiful darling lives a good and safe life.
Rachel Dunseith, United Kingdom
29/05/2020 10:56
To me she seem as though she doesnt want to hurt anyone or anything,, she looks like she's scared of humans as she afraid to even get close to any of them so please put a protective sheild on her so no human poachers will try to kill her if you plan to teach her how to defend herself out in the wild,, if she the only generation tiger left I don't want her extinct let her have the life she needs & wants!! PLEASE,, PLEASE I REALLY LOVE ALL TIGERS!!!!
Sheila Glaser, United States
29/05/2020 09:31
I am overwhelmed by so many beautiful comments all of which I wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all individuals involved in the rescue of this magnificent animal. Your dedication to the welfare of Siberia's rich treasure of wildlife is a generous gift to all of mankind. May you enjoy good and long-lasting health. I love animals as you do and I consider all of you soulmates.
Günther Rückl, München, Germany
29/05/2020 08:48
What a beautiful tiger cub! I hope and pray that she will be okay . When and if she is returned to the wild! I pray that she has a long life ahead of her! A life free from poarchers and other people trying to harm her! How could anyone harm or exploit such a magnifient creature! If people dont stop hunting these animals! There will be nothing left for future generations to see!
Sheffra Peterson, Long Beach, California USA
29/05/2020 07:42
Thank God she is ok, let's hope her future is bright & most of all safe. It's still a worry how safe will she be back in the wild. I wish the was a huge land mass sanctuary, protected on all sides with armed guards to protect wild animals from poachers, in every Country that the Government's pay for & let all flora & fauna regenerate from human destruction. Something MUST be done soon before there are only humans & domestic animals left on this planet. This is slowly but surely happening in our lifetime.
Monika, Australia
29/05/2020 07:42
Some good news to see makes a welcome change from disaster.... The fact is she was born to live
Pat, Aust
29/05/2020 06:13
If she isn't able to be put back into her natural habitat, maybe she could go to an accredited sanctuary. We have some in the United States that are great. I would highly recommend the Wildcat Sanctuary. She is a beautiful girl, I hope that she is able to live the life she was meant to live.❤
Marcia Bowman, United States
29/05/2020 04:55
Thank God Joe exotic is in jail or I'd be more worried about this beautiful big cat
Scitt Lang, Salem, Oregon, usa
29/05/2020 04:28
Poor Cub the momma probably, got shot by a poacher, or killed by some other animal. In deed this Cub needs to be around more of its own kind, then hopefully the Cub will see there instincts, and try it. I love Tigers and I hate poachers they don't leave the wild life that is so presish alone. Good luck little Cub!!!!!! God Bless
Pippy, Minnesota
29/05/2020 01:17

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