A tragic incident unfolded in the remote Khabarovsk region of Russia when a 76-year-old man was fatally attacked by a rare Siberian tiger. The man, known only as “uncle Vitya,” had ventured into the woods in pursuit of the tiger after it had killed his pet dog, according to local authorities.
The incident occurred near the village of Obor and was reported on Monday. The Siberian tiger had killed the man’s dog and dragged it away, leading the elderly man to track the predator for a significant distance into the forest, as per the Amur Tiger Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to animal protection.
The man eventually encountered the tiger in the forest, where it was found alongside its prey. It is believed that the tiger perceived the man as a threat and attacked him. The man’s body was later found next to his dog’s remains, showing signs of an animal attack, as stated by the regional branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee.
In response to the incident, local police and specialists from the Khabarovsk region’s hunting authority have initiated an investigation. The outcome of this investigation will determine whether the protected Siberian tiger will be removed from the wild.
The Amur Tiger Center expressed its heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the deceased man. The victim, a former railroad worker, was remembered as a “very positive and literate” individual by Yevgeny Lupin, the head of the nearby village of Sita and a former co-worker of the man, as reported by DVNovosti.ru.
The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is the largest living cat species in the world and is critically endangered. This year alone, nearly 300 instances of tigers entering populated areas have been reported in the Khabarovsk region, with some incidents involving attacks on dogs and humans, according to The Moscow Times.
The Siberian tiger population is estimated to be around 450 in the wild and an additional 650 in captivity, as per the Denver Zoo’s website. Male Siberian tigers can weigh between 400 to 700 lbs and measure up to 12 feet in length, including the tail.