Hi all. I’m sorry that did not let you know about wild life news from Russian Far East for a long time. But as for recent case – It is just my duty to tell you about it.
The story starts with phone call in the last days of the February – It was my friend-biologist from Sikhote-Alinsky reserve (North-East of Primorsky kray). He told me that dead tiger was found there recently. Tiger died with quite strange conditions, and necropsy should be performed soon. Conditions were really strange – front limbs were covered by multiple deep wounds/bites. Tiger took these wounds presumably from another tiger. However, there were no visible serious traumas that could cause animal death. Of course, such event produced for me huge interest and enthusiasm to investigate this case.
For the first I contacted institution, where necropsy should be performed, to clear up question of my presence and taking part in this procedure. Pathologists warmly accepted my application, and reported that necropsy should be performed on the 3rd of March (i.e. in three days). Undoubtedly, necropsy will throw light on many things, but I was bursting to find out something and I started to collect information about tiger, his life – all that was possible.
Tiger is happened to be resident male of the area. Tiger was not radiocollared, but phototraps “caught”
Cannibalism in populations of wild tigers is a quite rare event. As far as I found out - there were only 3 fixed cases (including that one) of cannibalism among tigers on the Russian Far East for last 50 years. On another hand, it is common that one male kills during fight another one to confirm his dominance in the area, or kills cubs (from foreign litter) to do mating with female – but consuming of killed congener … Such cases could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
These circumstance begged a lot of questions at the reserve employees. As parts of consumed tiger (part of
Now everything, more or less, slotted into place. Possibly it had happened in such way – to have mating with female tiger killed her cubs. By trying to protect children, tigress (or even cubs for themselves) injured male. Infection joined to injured tissues afterwards. It is difficult to say now if tiger was predisposed to cannibalism or animal just could not get another prey because of weakness – but he consumed cubs before death – this is fact. Of course, It is not necessary that all thing happened in such way – we just can guess, but such sequence of events seems to be logical at least.
As for fresh hemorrhages – point of little combat between our male and another male was found near the place of death. They fought about two days before our one has gone. So, five tigers in the area of 2 square kilometers were looped in this event – which is strange in itself.
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