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Amur tiger, nicknamed Uporny, released into the wild

28 may 2015
Uporny was released into the wild in the area called Home of the Tiger after being rehabilitated in the Utyos Rehab Center.

The operation on his translocation was carried out by the Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department with the support of WWF and the Amur Tiger Center.

Home of the Tiger mountain area is 200 kilometers away from the Utyos on the border with Anyuisky National Park. From now on this sparsely inhabited mountain area in Nanaisky District of Khabarovsky Province will become home for the tree-year-old male Uporny (in Russian means Stubborn). An adult male and a female with a cub living in an adjacent plot will be his neighbors. If the old residents do not accept a new comer he ca always escape to the national park.

“What is peculiar about this operation is that all its stages like rehabilitation, translocation and releasing of the “re-educated” tiger into the wild were organized and controlled by the governmental agencies responsible for the rare animal conservation, namely the Ministry of Naturel Resource of Khabarovsky Province and its structural subdivisions,” notes Pavel Fomenko, a biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch.

“Non-governmental organizations only did the legwork like providing consultations and providing assistance on the spot. And this is the way it should be done. We have been trying to achieve for many years that the government fully carries its responsibilities over conservation of rare species like the Amur tiger. In this particular case the efforts of all official agencies could be graded with an excellent mark. And of course I am happy for this guy in a stripped skin – people caught him at a proper time, duly stopped his disorderly conduct, provided him well care and finally awarded the animal with the most precious thing – a freedom!” adds Fomenko.

“This is a wild tiger. He is entirely ready to be released into his natural environment,” notes Eduard Kruglov, head of the Utyos Rehabilitation Center.  

“The predator got the needed nutrients and a balanced diet. We never came close to the cage; contacts between humans and the animal were minimal. All instincts proved to be preserved – Uporny can hunt, ambush his prey, has a horror of humans”.

As soon as the gate bolt was removed the tiger jumped out of the cage and dashed to the bush without even looking back. From now on the tiger’s route will be observed by the Hunting Department staff with the help of a radio collar with GPS module which was provided by the Amur Tiger Center.

“To work with conflict tigers in Khabarovsky Province we have chosen the advanced light radio collars currently existent on the market. It is not easy to collar a tiger.  You should correctly decide on a collar’s size so that an animal cannot unfasten it somehow and with this be able to freely feed,” comments Sergey Aramilev, head of the Amur Tiger Center Primorye branch.

“It is important that the collar is automatically detached when run of power. An animal even once being in contact with humans regarded as potentially conflict. Due to this fact the tiger will be observed by men till the end of his life. After the collar is detached Uporny will be controlled with camera traps and using other methods. During the first month after the release it is important to understand his behavior. Therefore on a constant basis a group of specialists will check the locations received from satellite and identify how and what the tiger feed himself with,” adds Aramilev.

The story backgroundIn November 2014, two tigers were live captured in Vyazemsky District of Khabarovsky Province.The tiger was brought to Utyos and became the first customer of special enclosure equipped by Bosch Company. With the help of video cameras the Center specialists remotely observe the tiger health condition and interfere into the rehabilitation process only when it is strictly necessary.


© WWF Russia
© WWF Russia