Siberian tiger saved from poachers

March 10, 2004 at 8:36 PM
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BRONX, N.Y., March 10 (UPI) -- U.S. and Russian wildlife experts working in the Russian Far East said they released a Siberian tiger last week after rescuing it from poachers.

The experts said the 8-to-10-year-old male tiger, estimated to weigh almost 400 pounds, was discovered by two Russian students hiking in the woods after they heard it roaring in distress. After they found the snare wrapped around the tiger's body, they quickly notified forest guards staying in a cabin a few miles away.

The experts, from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, Inspection Tiger from Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources, and the Tiger Response Team, arrived on the scene and anesthetized the tiger so it could be removed from the snare.

The tiger suffered numerous abrasions, but overall appeared healthy. As a precaution, the team moved the animal to a holding area where it could be observed to make sure it had no internal injuries. The experts said they think poachers set the snare specifically to catch tigers, which would have been killed and sold for skin and body parts.

Of the estimated 400 remaining Siberian tigers living in the wild, most are killed by people, according to WCS.

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