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Премия рунета 2017

Pavel Fomenko participated in a surgery on a wounded tigress

12 april 2018
The tiger hero Pavel Fomenko never lacked character and courage. Just a while ago he was in surgery himself after being injured by a tiger, however, today he find courage to participate in the surgery on a tigress.

The tigress wounded by a poacher in Khabarovsky Province has already come through two surgeries but the experts continue to struggle for her life. Today seven vets, as well as specialists of the Hunting Department, WWF Russia and the Amur Tiger Center have been fixing her hind leg with two titanium plates for several hours.

“Unfortunately, we do realize that this tigress will never be able to get back into the wild, it is even hard to survive the surgery like this. It’s sad and painful to see the badly injured animal sentenced to lifelong sufferings. Looking at this you realize that poachers must be punished for sure. And of course, great thanks to all the veterinarians who are doing their best to save the life of the animal, wrote in a messenger Pavel Fomenko, head of rare species conservation unit of WWF Russia Amur branch, honored conservationist of Russia.
Pavel Fomenko participated in a surgery on a wounded tigress
Yulia Fomenko / WWF Russia

For Pavel it is still difficult to talk after the surgery on his cheek-bone and his jaw that the surgeons reconstructed and fixed with titanium plates, just like vets did today for the tigress. By an unfortunate coincidence, he has suffered from the animal he has been protecting for all his life.

Pavel Fomenko is one of the first WWF staff in the Russian Far East. Before joining WWF a game biologist by profession, worked as a researcher at the Pacific Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Science. He headed the Division on Protection of the Altaisky Nature Reserve and took part in the first international research projects on the Amur tiger and Amur leopard. The Project on the Amur tiger and its habitat conservation launched since 1994 and coordinated by Pavel became the first project implemented in the Russian Far East. He was the first to tell the world about tragic fate of the Amur tiger in the time of Soviet Union collapse. And first efficient results in rare cat conservation were achieved with Pavel’s participation.

“My father and my elder brother are miners and I had to become a miner too, because there were nothing else but mines in my native town Mezhdurechensk in Kemerovskaya Province, recalls Pavel Fomenko. “I graduated from the mining college with honors and was invited to apply to the Leningrad Mining Academy. But there was something wrong about that. I never liked to blast the land, to make it look ugly. I felt it was not my thing. I used to go to the forest since my childhood, it was my real passion. I attended all possible optional classes like A Young Hunter, A Young Shooter, A Young biologist… Any bug was a discovery to me. And finally I saw a note in the magazine saying that the Irkutsk Agricultural Institute’ admission office started to receive applications. I put the magazine under my pillow and since that time I was thinking only about this. So, instead of Leningrad I moved to the east of Russia, to the Siberian city of Irkutsk. The competition to enter the game management department was high – 17 applicants per one place! But I was grinding at biology and chemistry and finally I was enlisted.”

Right now Pavel is getting better. Certainly it takes time, because the injuries from the tiger are healing slowly. Pavel’s colleagues from different countries are glad that he is recovering and wish him to come back to the ranks as fast as possible.

Amur tiger
Bikin National Park / WWF Russia / Amur Tiger Center
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