A new fairy tale start for Cinderella
There is some great news for Cinderella, the tiger cub that TigerTime supporters rallied to help this Christmas. On May 9th2013, the young tigress, who had been found orphaned in 2012, was returned back to the wild in Bastak Nature Reserve, Jewish Autonomous Province.
Cinderella, weighing a healthy 94 kg (207 lb) was very active and it took over two hours before the specialists could immobilize her with a tranquillizer dart. They checked her teeth, took her temperature, blood and other samples to test for disease, before transporting her to Bastak Nature Reserve.
After an 18 hour, 600 mile drive Cinderalla’s trailer was hitched to a cross-county vehicle to take the tigress and tiger specialists to the Upper Bastak River release site. Upon arrival the specialists first checked an automatic remote control on the trailer door and the radio-locating system, instructed everyone around on safety rules and then opened the door. After a three second pause, the tigress jumped out of the trailer and disappeared into thick forest.
Specialists of the A.N Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Inspection Tiger and Wildlife Conservation Society are monitoring Cinderella’s movements with the use of radio telemetry and have already received the first signals from her radio collar. She is moving towards the area where the presence of an adult male tiger has been recorded and the scientists are hopeful that soon a new tiger couple will find each other. Bastak Nature Reserve, has plenty of food and is a protected area ensuring the best possible chance for peace and good protection for the Cinderella.
“The Phoenix Fund has been concerned about Cinderella’s future since the first days the tigress was found. We, together with International Fund for Animal Welfare, decided to assist in her rehabilitation process,” says Sergei Bereznuk, Director of the Phoenix Fund. “We would like to thank all the people who responded to our call for help. Donations came from all parts of Russia and from abroad including our TigerTime and DSWF supporters in the UK. And, thanks to the professionalism of specialists of the Rehabilitation Centre for Rare Species, we think Cinderella is ready for a new stage in her life. At this very exciting moment we hope that it will not take her long time to get settled in her new home, and that she will increase the wild tiger population by giving birth to young in the future.”
Cinderella’s story began in February 2012, when people found the young orphaned tigress in freezing conditions on the territory of Borisovskoye hunting lease. She was unable to survive for long on her own. She was then approximately 5-6 months old and was so exhausted that she could be easily handled. Her foreleg and tail were frostbitten. According to the vets, if the female tiger had not been rescued that day, she would have died the next. The cub weighed up to 16 kilograms (35 lbs). After a three-week quarantine the young tigress was transported to the Rehabilitation Centre for Rare Species located in Alekseevka village, Primorsky krai, which construction was made possible thanks to the financial support from Russian Geographical Society. At the centre Cinderella was under constant control of veterinarians and specialists of Inspection Tiger and A.N Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution.
TigerTime would like to thank everyone that supported Cinderella and donated to help keep her alive through the winter. It is a wonderful success that she has been released and we will now watch her progress with great interest.
We still need your help – another five cubs have been rescued in the last year that greatly need your help, please consider donating here.
Photo credit: Phoenix Fund