From: David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation e-Newsletter: No.16 January 2007
Whilst traveling along the main road near his home in the Khabarovsky region of Russia's far east, a local villager came across the unexpected sight of a tiny, weak, Amur (Siberian) tiger cub apparently alone and terrified. After stopping his vehicle and checking very carefully for an adult tigress in the surrounding area, the villager lifted the tiny cub into his car, took it home and reported the incident to the local Inspection Tiger officers. They arrived and took charge of the little animal which was badly wounded and practically incapable of movement. The Inspection Tiger officers arranged for its transportation to the Far Eastern Zoo Garden where it underwent immediate intensive veterinary treatment and was named Rigma.
Sadly her story is not unique. It is more than likely that her mother was killed by the poachers who roam the taiga forest prepared to kill the elusive big cats whose body parts fetch high prices as ingredients in the traditional Chinese medicine trade. However, her story is miraculous. Not only was she rescued by someone aware of the precarious state of her species and who reported her to the right authorities, but she was then removed and given life-saving treatment by a dedicated team of experts. Since then, the little cub, which turned out to be female, has made remarkable progress according to the zoo keepers.
Rigma is now able to move around, eat by herself and express her fury with a weak roar! She will be further examined this month and then officials will decide where her future lies, either in the wild or, if she has become too habituated to humans, in a wildlife park
For further information on DSWF's work in Russia, go to http://www.davidshepherd.org/projects/siberia_amur_tiger.shtml