New guest to Utyos Rehab Center
According to the website of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Khabarovsky Province, on August 4, 2016, local people of Solontsovy informed the authorities about a tiger entering the settlement. A group of Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department on solving human-large predator conflicts was sent to check the situation. The information was confirmed. Indeed, a tiger approached the village, most likely a female or a young male with a nine-centimeter wide paw.
The group tried to scare the tiger away. Local people were warned and instructed on how to behave in case of the tiger attack, also the people were asked to stop free cattle grazing and to keep the dogs leashed. In August and early September, the tiger approached Solontsovy twice but scaring away had no effect. To secure people’s lives a decision was made to capture the animal.
It was not easy to capture the animal. The tiger used to appear in the village occasionally, with an interval of one to three weeks. The animal never reacted to the baits which complicated the catching.
“A tiger is not a butterfly; you cannot catch it with your hat. Special snares were set and then checked every 3 hours round the clock. Four of us were involved in this work. The bulk of Solontsovy dwellers are responsible people, but there are few who do not care, who leave their dogs unleashed. These dogs run about the village and get into the set snares. But to catch a tiger no domestic animals allowed in the streets,” comments Yury Kolpak, head of Wildlife Protection Division of Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department.
As the result, on November 3, a 3-4 years young female tiger with paw size of 9,5 cm was captured.
«The caught tiger nicknamed Tikhonya (meaning stealthy, shy) is temporary placed in a purpose-built cage in the Utyos Rehab Center where the animal will be thoroughly examined by the local vets. Also, the tiger’s behavioral reactions and hunting skills will be checked. All these measures are needed to make a correct decision on the predator’s future, comments Vasily Tolstykh,deputy minister, and head of Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department. - If we decide to release it into the wild the animal will be fit with a radio collar”.
The tigress from Solontsovy is one of the conflict tigers that have approached human settlements over the last two weeks. All these conflict situations were managed by Khabarovsky and Primorsky Provinces Hunting Departments’ staff, specialists from WWF and the Amur Tiger Center.
«I would like to mark a well-coordinated and accurate job done by the conflict resolution groups. All the conflict tigers that threaten the calmness of people are being successfully and timely captures with no harm done and transported to the rehab centers, notes Pavel Fomenko, head of rare species conservation unit at WWF Russia Amur branch. – All these tigers are under control, so there are no place for panic or rumors on so called “tiger invasion”. The number of conflicts registered this year is fairly comparable with annual averages of the previous years”.