Wildlife experts were amazed as a wounded tiger sought human help after being injured.
The endangered male Amur tiger, believed to be at least 15 years old and known as Tikhon, appeared at a remote Russian border post in the Land of the Leopard National Park, on the country’s frontier with China on December 31.
Despite guards’ attempts to scare the tiger away with warning gunshots, Tikhon stayed put. Defying their efforts and his own natural instincts the tiger refused to move on.
According to the Land of the Leopard National Park’s official website, it soon became clear to the guards Tikhon appeared to be wounded.
The website wrote:
This time he acted ‘out in the open’: without fear of the border guards, the predator walked the site for a long time. Employees of the outpost tried to scare away the animal with fire and single shots, but the beast ignored these attempts.
At the same time, according to the observation of the border guards, the tiger was limping, crouching on its hind legs.
It was then decided by staff from the park it would be best to capture the animal and remove him from the wild, believing the tiger’s unusual behaviour could pose a threat to humans.
When Tikhon returned to the outpost on January 2, a group of specialists and border guards awaiting his arrival shot him with a syringe, then took the sleeping tiger via car to a Rehabilitation Centre for tigers and other rare animals.
He will soon undergo a thorough veterinary examination to analyse what caused the tiger’s strange behaviour, which is currently predicted to be either a wound, disease, old age or a combination of these causes.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.