China on lookout for Siberian tiger released by Putin

China has launched a massive hunt to locate a rare Siberian tiger released by Russian President Vladimir Putin into the wild after it crossed over to the forest into the Communist nation.

PTI| Updated: Oct 09, 2014, 17:32 PM IST

Beijing: China has launched a massive hunt to locate a rare Siberian tiger released by Russian President Vladimir Putin into the wild after it crossed over to the forest into the Communist nation.

Russian media reported that the tiger, named Kuzya, was among three rare Siberian tigers set free by Putin in May.

The tracking device showed the young tiger crossed the border into China from Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region.

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, was observed at the Taipinggou nature reserve in Luobei County in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Chen Zhigang, director of the nature reserve, told state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Chen said they have dispatched personnel to remove possible traps and set up more than 60 cameras in the hope of capturing its image.

Forestry police officers are required to notify local farmers about the tiger's presence.

He said food should not be a problem for the tiger since the 20,000-hectare nature reserve features rich diversity of wildlife.
"But if necessary, we can release cattle into the region to feed it," Chen said.

Fewer than 500 Siberian tigers remain in the wild, mainly in eastern Russia, northeast China and northern parts of the Korean Peninsula.

China puts its own number of wild Siberian tigers between 18 and 22, mostly living in the border areas.
Chen said Siberian tigers have not been found before in Luobei County.

However, traces of the endangered species, including infrared pictures, footprints and feces, have frequently emerged in other parts of Heilongjiang due to the improving habitat.