A Siberian tiger released in the wild by Russian President Vladimir Putin has killed two goats in northeastern China and three more are reportedly missing!
The Russian president had freed three Siberian tigers in June in the Jewish Autonomous Oblast region that shares borders with Khabarovsk Krai and Amur Oblast in Russia and with the Heilongjiang province of China. It was a publicity stunt favoured by his spin doctors in an attempt to redeem his tarnished reputation worldwide. The main suspect in the death of the Chinese goats is reportedly Ustin, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Siberian tiger experts believe Ustin attacked the goats on Heixiazi Island in Fuyuan county of Heilongjiang on Sunday night, out of which two are dead, and three are missing.
According to Zhu Shibing, a wildlife protection expert from the Northeast Forestry University, the skull of the dead goats had been crushed, and puncture holes "the size of a human finger" were evident. Zhu claims this shows the exceptional power of the tiger's jaws.
"Our monitoring data and this attack all tell that Ustin is in good physical condition, and has a large range of activities on Heixiazi Island," Zhu said, before warning villagers against heading close to Ustin or feeding him, if they spot the Siberian tiger.
Ustin belongs to the pack of five cubs rescued by Russian experts two years ago and after being released in the wild by Putin, he was tracked making his way into China. Earlier this month, Ustin's tracking device had showed him to be on Heixiazi Island in the Fuyuan County.
On 18 November, State Forestry Administration had released a rare video footage of Ustin scouring the grounds on Heixiazi island, which is divided between Russia and China.
On 14 November, Zinhuanet had reported that going by the tracking device on the tiger, Kuzya, the Siberian tiger, who was released by Putin along with Ustin, was roaming several hundred meters away from the Sino-Russian border river in the Taipinggow nature reserve. The big cat reportedly swam across the border river from Russia in October and might spend the entire winter in China.