Experts found out the reason of Uporny’s death
Uporny became a symbol of the fight for freedom and survival in the wild. He had been through hard times. He was captured as a conflict predator in Khabarovsky Province in 2014, at the age of more than 3 years, and given the name Uporny (meaning “stubborn” in Russian) for his unwillingness to get out of the transport cage into the enclosure. This male tiger was placed to Utyos Rehab Center and had been through the period of adaptation. After the release into the wild in May 2015 near Anyuisky National Park, he freely lived in the taiga for two years under minus 40 degrees below zero, in one-and-a-half-deep snow… His life was observed from GPS collar signals. These signals were carefully monitored by the Hunting Department of Khabarovsky Province, WWF-Russia and Amur Tiger Center, and regularly confirmed by field checks.
On 14 March, due to GPS collar, Uporny was found dead in the Gur River valley with wounds in the head and on the back. The dead tiger was near a killed wild boar he had preyed. The experts’ theories about Uporny’s death were confirmed today after the examination at the Center of wild animals diseases at Primorskaya Agricultural Academy in Ussuriisk.
“The conclusion is almost definite: the animal’s death was caused by the attack of another predator. In our opinion it could be another tiger, quite a large male as well. This situation confirms the version that the life of predators in the wild is very hard and the mortality from natural causess is higher than is described in scientific studies.” – comments Pavel Fomenko, the head of rare species department at WWF Russia Amur branch.
“The bigger tiger turned out to be more lucky, having wounded Uporny deadly. However, Uporny has contributed greatly into the Amur tiger conservation. Thanks to GPS collar data we obtained new knowledge on how the tiger explores the new unfamiliar area and settles down there. We also hope that Uporny’s mating with a tigress, the fact we discovered after one of the field checks, will result in the increase of Amur tiger population.” – comments Sergei Aramilev, director of the Far Eastern branch of the Amur Tiger Center.
In spite of its short life, tiger Uporny helped the experts to improve the methodology of rehabilitation of conflict tigers. On its example, it is proved once again that even if due to some reason the tiger interfered humans territory, there is deformedly a way to bring it back in the right way, avoiding any conflicts with humans again. Thanks to Uporny, the whole world received the information about the adaptation of a tiger in the northern part of its home range, in the most severe conditions for these predators.