Amur tiger family wiped out in Russia

  • August 30, 2012

Eight Amur tiger skins have been seized by authorities from a resident of Arseniev town in the Russian Far East. Among the seized skins were two cubs aged 1 or 2 month old. This will create a devastating effect on tiger conservation because there are only an estimated 8-10 adult Amur tigers living in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve which is one of the biggest nature reserves in the area.

The wildlife dealer that was storing these skins is well-known by investigators and he has been collecting illegal wildlife products for trade since the 1990s and has been caught on multiple occasions. It seems that his appetite for fuelling the tiger trade has increased since the nineties. The local police stated that “Besides tiger skins, police officers found 230 ginseng roots, 97 bottles of vodka with ginseng roots, 150 cartridges and about $115,000 in cash. The man allegedly bought up the goods from poachers in order to sell them on in China.” The dealer is now facing a heavy fine or a two-year imprisonment.

“Despite the fact that following the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg in 2010 the Russian Government is allocating big money to conserve Amur tigers in protected areas, poaching continues to be a major hurdle. Unfortunately, the government is facing a tough fight with poachers,” says Sergei Bereznuk, Director of the TigerTime supported Phoenix Fund. “We have not recovered yet from the last alarming news about a huge seizure of skins and derivatives of wild animals in April. During a search the police accidentally discovered 148 bear paws, two Himalayan bear skins, three brown bear skins, two Amur tiger skins and five tails plus five sea eagle carcasses. We hope that the arrested men will receive just punishment for their crimes.”

This trade needs to END. You can help us fund our vital tiger protection projects by donating and by signing our petition.

Written by: Chantelle M Henderson

Sources: Komsomolskaya Pravda , PrimaMedia , RIA Novosti

Photo Credit: Seized skins by Pavel Fomenko