NEW YORK, April 1 (UPI) -- The first Siberian tiger ever fitted with a radio collar has likely been killed by poachers, said officials from the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.
Olga had been tracked for the past 13 years but went missing in January and WCS officials based at the Bronx Zoo said they now believe the animal was killed by poachers who destroyed the radio collar.
Olga was the first animal captured by the staff of the Siberian Tiger Project, a joint research and conservation program between the Wildlife Conservation and Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik.
Olga was radio-collared at age 1 near the Russian village of Terney and researchers monitored the tiger's movements in a 200 square mile swath of forest in the Russian Far East. Olga gave birth to six litters, totaling at least 13 cubs, six of which survived.
Dale Miquelle, director of the WCS Russia Program, said, "For many of us, Olga was a symbol of the tiger's resilience and capacity to live side by side with humans."