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The Amur tiger and its survival

Hard to believe that in 30-e years of the last century these beauties in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky regions was no more than forty. However, in time people came to their senses and saved the animal from extinction. This made the laws, created by the forces of the “Conflict tiger”, has developed a scientific program that attracted international funds; hit the poaching and black loggers; agreed with the Chinese on joint cooperation…

Public love (and love our President in particular) to this rare, wild and unruly cat, of course, played in her rescue a significant role. But let us remember about the merits of the hunters. About those who really cares for the nature and despise poaching as a class. On cost-conscious owners, who are trying to create in the hunting grounds of the Far East all the conditions for the conservation and enhancement of species diversity, and hence to save the tiger.

“Will the wild boar — and the tiger” — so say the experts, and this convinced our interlocutor, the hunter with more than 50 years of experience, seaside katolikosata Victor Belozerov.

— Victor, today the Amur tiger became a “public personality”. Talking about him, and in the hunting Department of Primorye developed rules of human behavior when meeting a tiger… it would be no pathos to speak about this animal, about the real situation with his survival and hear stories of the person who had to meet a tiger one on one.

Over my hunting life, I went from South Primorye Khasan region to center in the North. Since 1978 I hunt mostly in the area chuguyivsky district. Here they built winter quarters, engaged in the fur — mined sable, squirrel, kolinsky. For compromiso and gospromkhoz trademark license beat the beast in the meat of wild boar, the Manchurian deer. It was during this period occurred on my first meeting with the tiger, which is etched in my memory for life, as the vivid film footage, with the smallest details.

…We arrived in Taegu on 16 November 1978 to build a new cabin, as the old burned down by poachers. With me was my dog, 8-month-old Case. Arrived when it was getting dark, two UAZ jeeps, unloaded. The evening was light newly-fallen snow. And we were placed to sleep in a UAZ.

At night I went outside several times, and in the morning saw trodden around the car a huge tiger tracks, not even covered with snow. So he spent the night there. Watched, explored, and not indicating their presence. It can be said, was a Preface to further developments.

We built the cabin, prepared putiki opened the season. With us were two huskies, who worked on protein. Tiger came to us for the fishing season every 7-10 days. And his tracks we saw on a daily basis. After all what came? Hunt, go to utiku, find a fresh trail, Trapiche beast all day, and when cut back, you go out on your fifth trail.

Now, not once I saw that whole day I was accompanied by a tiger. I hunted, it was close: twenty feet from me was his maturation. However, I have never seen. But it was an experienced hunter, he knew how the behavior of birds to determine the presence of the beast. But not a single click is not heard. After the incident, I realized that if the tiger wakes up gastronomic interest to any person likely to escape will not.

 

Tiger, we already knew, we did not represent a threat, but interest was aroused. The modern tiger is not afraid of man — no hunting pressure. Photo: Fotolia.com

— So You were not his type. But seriously, why in such cases, the tiger does not attack? Maybe he’s just beneficial to have a lucky partner hunter?

— This tiger, we already knew, we did not represent a threat, but interest was aroused. The modern tiger is not afraid of man — no hunting pressure. Often, this predator is not afraid of the sound of the shot and on the contrary, is counting on a gain. The same bear, for example, is the sound of gunfire, because he knows that it will be possible to profit: the skin, intestines…

I knew that meeting my new friends will be. And here I go once at dusk along its route, returning to the cabin. I can see her lying valezina. What is it? It was never here. And drop it nowhere.

Come any closer, “valerina” arises. Tiger! Large, plump, well-fed male — the one that went all the time near our winter quarters, and left footprints as a calling card. I stopped. The distance between us about forty meters.

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I had the carbine TO a short cavalry version mosinskoy rifle, and he was ready. I remained calm.

The beast stood on four legs and also was very calm. Looked at me, only slightly poilevaya tail. By the way, I then measured his trail: the heel of the male was more than twelve inches. So we stood, looking eye to eye, for about five minutes, no more. But this time it seemed to me an eternity. Being intimate with a predator I have not even flashed. And he stood yet a little while, slowly turned back and, slowly, not uttering a growl, went on the road and after three hundred metres and disappeared from sight. I had a feeling, like meeting with an old friend.

— Looks like You and Your “old friend” secretly signed a nonaggression Pact in a common area. But the tiger can touch a person, if someone will pass the nerves and he will behave incorrectly?

— If you want it probably will touch. But I didn’t give a reason, and he had no reason to attack. Although we were hunting on its territory. I found traces of his feasts — the remains of red deer, Asiatic black bears. But we it didn’t hurt, not messing around nor patikam or in the cabin. Paradoxically, this beast did not touch our dogs, and tigers have a special hatred.

For comparison, here are the facts.

We at the base had twelve dogs, there are two. The tigress dragged — teach a cub to hunt by all the rules. Went near the base, tail wiggling, rustling the leaves, and the dog flew at the sound. Jump — and all.

Or remember the hunt for Hassan, the South of Primorsky Krai. The paddock we were hunting deer. We stopped for the night. We had two cars — KAMAZ and “Ural”. Near the reeds. On fire hung a pot, preparing dinner. Someone had shot a gun.

With us was a little dog. Spun, spun close to and suddenly disappeared. Moved by five feet and saw the tracks of a tiger, and a dog ended at the reeds. Can you imagine? Right when we got the dog, not paying attention to a lot of people, the noise, the shots.

— No wonder they say: like a cat with a dog. And in some cases attack people? In the forest, the habitation of man?

Tiger attack when he was hunted. A wounded animal attacks. In Primorye wounded tiger attacked police officers pursuing predator. In the villages trying to braconinae. But all ends in tears. And I do not advise anyone to do it.

Tiger is very dangerous and is not weak to wound the beast, as it argued. It’s a wild cat. Fast, agile, makes a jump from zero to eight meters. Need to see how the tiger attacks. It’s just lightning, flying in a whirlwind of snow. For a split second — and he’s already there.

— Have you ever seen a tiger hunter?

— Tell an interesting case. In those places where took place a long time ago our hunting, we built a large database. Settled next to the female tiger. Hunted with two kittens (judging by the prints, the height of a mother) paddocks I have seen, all the rules of hunting. They would point at her to catch up the beast, it crushed…

 

The bear was small and looks young, inexperienced. Tiger crushed his prey eaten and the rest left. This male I know already more than ten years. Meet him in the forest. Photo: Fotolia.com

Next hunted a large male. Their borders habitat do not overlap. Last year I went on the hunt. Hear three hundred meters crows cawed. Well, I think davleniya probably is. In General, the tiger hunts with the road. He perfectly hears, feels, coming, creeping up slowly and kills the victim. So, saw it lying crushed Asiatic black bear. The tiger smelled it in the den, judging by the traces, three hundred meters.

This bear is not a tree lay down, and as the brown bear, dug under the stump a shelter, cut branches, covered them and lay down. He was unlucky: the tiger pulled him out. In the snow there were traces of a fight.

The bear was small and looks young, inexperienced. Tiger crushed his prey eaten and the rest left. This male I know already more than ten years. Meet him in the forest.

And in November of the same year I saw a picture. The river began to appear brown bears, go to sleep. One of them came up as kabanchenko, without straining, to eat. Got on the trail of the tiger. And here is the tiger crushes the boar, then bear, striped throws and takes away the prey. Sneakers and he’s huge. We have another 45 Shoe size, and the two of us, putting two shoes, not blocked the trail of the bear. Tiger himself, without a fight, gives up and leaves.

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Then I trail on the grounds and watched the same story. The bear was not far behind. Tiger produces, bear takes. It lasted a long time, then both disappeared. Or tiger tired of this robbery, and he changed the station, or the bear ate and went to bed.

As the bear dared to press the tiger?

— Brown bear in our area similar in size and strength with Kamchatka. In a good forage year, when there is the acorn nut, Primorsky bear can reach 600-700 pounds. But in a fight a tiger and a bear trying to avoid.

In General, the tiger guards its territory fiercely. Was the case with my guests Danes. They came to hunt, and one of them went on to shoot grouse near the base. Suddenly we hear the roar of the tiger. Rushed to the aid of who knows what? Running. And he asks: “It’s probably a deer yelling?”
“Yeah, a deer,” the talk show tiger tracks. Huge. Surprised at the poor guy as much cap had risen to his ears. “The tiger warned you: do not go into his territory — we explained the Dane.

And here a new meeting this year. Flew from Moscow on the tenth of November, the eleventh drove into the grounds and to the base. Not a single boar. But there are fresh tiger tracks, is not yet dusted with snow. So, soon meeting.

Indeed, after 600 meters I saw her standing there our old friend on the sidelines. It is possible to tell, meet. But the pose did not, disappeared, even the camera to not get it in time.

— Judging from such frequent encounters with a tiger, it is really in the forest a lot? Or the beast is mainly focused around the hunting grounds, where there is a food supply?

— Scientists estimate that tigers now more than 500 individuals and the number is growing. Engaged in security, have become tougher to punish offenders. In China not long ago passed a law: for trading derivatives wild tiger — the death penalty. Demand fell sharply. Everyone is now thinking about their skin, not the tiger… And of course, tigers are attracted to farms where it is easy to produce red deer or wild boar, which is the main forage base for striped predator.

The government, if interested in maintaining the population of wild boars, should help hunters who have to bear the losses due to tiger appetite. For one tiger you have 100 units of pigs for the season. Four tigers is already 400 units. And if the lean years as it is today?

Acorns, there’s a bit of a walnut, but his boar until December will eat and will starve. This year, the density is high. And here the problem occurs — the epizootic. And the tiger helps to regulate the number of the beast.

 

People’s love and love our President in particular to this rare, wild and unruly cat, of course, played in her rescue a significant role. Photo: Fotolia.com

And if you do not feed the tiger is to a human dwelling… Often the tigers come to Vladivostok?

— Come in. When I was in Vladivostok last time tiger came to the city. In General, such a beast is considered a conflict. Watching him, and in extreme cases shoot. I had the opportunity to participate in such an operation in the 80-ies. Tiger then came to Vladivostok and dragged the dog located at the city hospital.

Rose a stir, because around the hospital area where the people go. After all, the tiger would come here again. The Executive Committee set the task to destroy the predator. In the same year was caught two tiger. The reason for it all — starvation. When there are wild boar, deer — tiger full. He will not go to the people, and in the forest, on the free spaces well.

— On the outside all is well. How tiger live in nature?

— Up to 20 years for sure. In nature it differs from those in the cells. Walks combed (raked branches), sleek, smooth. Remember, I went to check of the Sables’, sat on valerino to relax, see — through the ravine into the clearing came the tiger and began to frolic: to lay on his back, tumbled, played. I looked at it and thought: big, beautiful house cat. Unique beast. If tiger is not, taiga will be poor forever.

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