16:52 - 14/ 03/ 2007
VLADIVOSTOK, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - A starving Amur tiger, one of the critically endangered species in Russia's taiga, killed a village dog in east Russia hit by a heavy snowstorm.
Snowstorms, the most powerful in more than 100 years, seized the Primorye Region near the Pacific in early March, creating high snow and making it difficult for tigers to hunt.
"A group of rescuers has been sent to the Yakovlevsky district to take the tiger back to taiga," an official of the Russian Natural Resources Ministry said, adding that the thick snow had forced the tiger to risk moving along cleared roads.
He said it was the seventh incident of the kind since the snowstorm began.
Tigers in Russia's taiga have had to move closer to villages because extensive tree felling has reduced their natural habitat, and also widespread poaching of hoofed animals is depriving the predators of their main prey.
Amur tigers are on the Endangered Species Act. The latest data says there are about 450 of them left in eastern Russia.