A Russian retiree was mauled to death by a rare Siberian tiger after he followed the big cat’s tracks into the woods because it had killed and dragged away his pet dog, authorities said.
The deadly animal attack was reported Monday near the village of Obor in the remote Khabarovsk region.
The tiger “crushed” the pooch owned by the 76-year-old villager, identified by an acquaintance only as “uncle Vitya,” prompting the angry pet owner to follow the predator “for a considerable distance,” according to a Telegram post from the Amur Tiger Center, a nonprofit animal protection organization.
The elderly man eventually ran into the tiger in the forest, where the animal was found next to its prey.
“Presumably, the animal perceived it as a threat and attacked the man,” the post continued.
The elderly victim was later discovered dead next to the remains of his dog, with the body bearing signs of “an animal’s impact,” according to a post from the regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee.
Police and specialists from the Khabarovsk region’s hunting authority have launched an investigation into the fatal incident.
Depending on the outcome of the probe, authorities will decide whether to remove the protected rare tiger from the wild.
“We express our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased,” the Amur Tiger Center said.
The victim had previously worked on the railroad and was described as “very positive and literate,” according to Yevgeny Lupin, the head of the nearby village of Sita, who had been the man’s co-worker, reported the news outlet DVNovosti.ru.
Authorities in the Khabarovsk region have reported nearly 300 cases of tigers entering populated areas this year alone, and in some cases killing dogs and attacking people, according to The Moscow Times.
The Siberian tiger, or Amur tiger, is a critically endangered species, with only about 450 animals remaining in the wild and a further 650 in captivity, according to the Denver Zoo’s website.
The Siberian tiger is the largest living cat in the world, with males weighing between 400 to 700 lbs and measuring up to 12 feet in length, including the tail.
What you can do
Help to save wildlife by donating as little as $1 – It only takes a minute.
This article by Snejana Farberov was first published by The New York Post on 5 December 2023. Lead Image: A Siberian tiger killed a 76-year-old man and his dog in Russia. Abstract Art – stock.adobe.com.