The Strange Tale Of Vladik The Siberian Tiger

roaring tiger

About a year ago an endangered Siberian tiger called Vladik terrified residents of Vladivostok, Russia’s Eastern capital as the big cat was frequently spotted just 5 miles away from downtown. People were so afraid that mothers would not even send the children to school in response to the first sighting of a Siberian tiger in the city in over 40 years. In order to ease the panic Vladik was tranquilised and for a while placed in a tiger rehabilitation centre where he was collared and ultimately released nearly 435 miles away in Bikin National Park where there are plenty of deer available to serve as potential prey.

Vladik was relocated

Sergey Aramilev director of the Far Eastern Department of the Amur Tiger Centre at the time said it was decided that Vladik be relocated to the most remote part of wild taiga where there are a large number of hoofed ungulates that could act as a ready source of food. Mr Aramilev said he hoped Vladik would stay there and not roam too far and help increase the number of tigers living in the Bikin National Reserve.

The tiger returns

Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case and it seems as if Vladik enjoyed the time he spent in Vladivostok so much, that he returned to the city almost exactly a year to the day after causing panic the first-time round. Amazingly according to his GPS tracking device, Vladik who is one of the estimated 540 adult Siberian tigers living in the wild managed to avoid a number of obstacles including the main Vladivostok-Khabarovsk highway and the Trans-Siberian railway. On his journey he killed and ate at least three black bears along with some deer and cattle.

The city stayed calm

According to the Siberian Times, Valdik was spotted quite close to the village of Yasnoe which is very near to Valdivostok Airport. This time however the city remained calm because the Siberian tiger has been carefully bypassing people for the time being at least. Officials believe that the tiger is skirting Vladivostok and is trying to make his way to China, though his final destination could well be North Korea. Vladivostok which is a port city is close to the border of both countries.

Healthy and well fed

Mr Aramilev said Vladik appears to look quite healthy and well fed, displaying a normal reaction to both cars and people. He adds that where the tiger is travelling too remains a mystery that only time will tell. Pavel Fomenko of WWF Russia says his organisation is worried about the fate of Vladik, though as of now he appears to be where he was attempting to get to. Mr Fomenko says he really hopes he settles down and everything will be fine adding that he was very happy that the tiger simply passed by settlements.

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