- Issue: Winter 2017
- Author: Matt Twombly
Khabarovsky Province, Russia
Vyazemskoye lies at the Western edge of the Amur tiger range, where only about 540 wild tigers remain.
Poaching is still the biggest threat to the Amur tiger. But habitat loss from logging and development also harms their population.
Naturally elusive, tigers tend to avoid humans. But when human development cuts into the cats' habitat, and their natural prey becomes scarce, conflicts with humans increase.
Any tiger that wanders into a human settlement becomes known as a "conflict tiger."
After tigers killed three dogs in Vyazemskoye, locals contacted a group that addresses human-tiger conflict, created with the help of WWF-Russia.
Uporny's rehabilitation was the result of collaboration between Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department's Tiger Conflict Resolution Group, the Utyos Rehabilitation Center, WWF-Russia, and the Amur Tiger Center.
Since the beginning of 2017, three other tigers have been rehabilitated and released through these partners' work. Two tiger cubs have also been rescued and are currently being rehabilitated.