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17 janvier 2013 4 17 /01 /janvier /2013 05:26


Cracking Down on Wildlife Trafficking

This news is excerpted from an official press release posted on   http://mvd.ru/news/item/774129/

Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation continues to take an active role in implementation of state policy aimed at protection of endangered species listed in the Russia’s Red Book.  Recently, a series of crime-prevention operations was held in the Russian Far East in order to prevent illegal capture and killing of rare and endangered animals, including the Amur tiger.

For example, a few days ago police officers discovered an Amur tiger skin illegally transported by train from Vladivostok to Khabarovsk. (See detail by RIA Novosti, at the end of this article). Experts suspect the skin to belong to that of a tiger cub less than 18 months old. A bullet hole in the skin indicates that the animal was probably killed by poachers. Now, police officers are conducting thorough investigation in order to identify people involved in that crime. The skin reportedly was bound for Moscow to make a good hunting trophy for sale.

Also, the other day a set of tiger bones were found by police in Vladivostok as a result of painstaking investigation. The parts of tiger skeleton were intended for sale and further use in traditional Asian medicine. 


VLADIVOSTOK, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - Police have found and seized the hide of an Amur tiger on a train in Russia’s Far East, the regional transport police department said on Tuesday.

“According to experts, the hide belonged to a young tiger aged about 18 months. A bullet hole in it clearly shows that the animal was poached,” the department’s press service said in a statement.

The hide of the animal, listed as endangered species on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), was found in a conductor’s compartment on a train from Vladivostok to Khabarovsk.

The conductor said an unknown man had asked him to hand the bag to a recipient in Khabarovsk. Paying to train conductors in order to deliver parcels promptly is a common practice in Russia, despite efforts by railroad management to do away with it.

“It is known to police that the hide was being transported to Moscow, where it was to be turned into a hunting trophy and sold abroad,” the statement reads.

An investigation is underway to find the organizer and perpetrators of the crime.

The population of the Amur tiger, one of six extant tiger subspecies, found only in Russia’s Far East and in some areas of Northern China, currently stands at some 450. Experts estimate that from 30 to 50 Amur tigers are killed by poachers and irresponsible hunters every year. Only four tiger poachers have been convicted since the fall of the Soviet Union.

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