The Russian government wants to get along with the Chinese government. They have similar philosophies; dictatorship disguised as a quasi-democracy.
Russia also wants to get along with China for economic reasons because Europe is putting the squeeze on them financially with sanctions as a result of Russia invading the Ukraine. Russia recently completed a $400bn gas pipeline deal with China to supply gas.
However, there might be a cat fight brewing between Russia and China because a couple of Siberian tigers have apparently wandered across the border from their habitat in the Far East of Russia to Fuyuan County in Heilongjiang province, which is marked on the map above.
Cats, as we know, do not respect boundaries especially those put up by humans to demark their countries. I’ll go further and say that the Siberian tiger’s habitat probably includes part of China, anyway.
It is said that one of the Tigers, Ustin, was released into the wild in May 2014 by Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president. He denies it and says it was released by a Russian conservation agency.
We know that Vladimir takes a personal interest in the conservation of the Siberian tiger (good publicity for Vladimir) of which there are about 400 remaining but which have a breeding capacity of about 14 tigers due to sterility. Therefore inbreeding and the gradual demise of this rare population of tigers is constantly at risk.
Ustin wandered into north-west China from the Amur region of Russia in the Far East. Once in China, this magnificent animal, raided a local farm killing, we are informed, 15 goats over a couple of nights. Three more goats are missing.
Tiger footprints were noticed around the goats’ enclosure. Ustin’s brother raided another farm in October attacking five chickens. Chickens will not sustain a tiger. Tigers need large prey because they need around 50lbs of meat a night. The Siberian tiger does not feed on livestock unless he has to. Their preferred prey is red deer and wild pig. Does this raid by a tiger indicate that its prey is being shot by hunters leaving it little choice but to prey on livestock?
The farmer who lost his goats will be compensated by the local forestry department. He will have to reinforce his enclosure. The farmer said that he had locked the shelter but the tiger broke down the wooden fence.
The Siberian is the largest tiger and the largest Siberian tiger, wherever he is, is probably the world’s largest naturally occurring cat.