Saturday, November 18, 2006

My First Sighting of a Tiger in the Wild

We were on the way to have a look at a feeding site for ungulates that WCS is supporting in Khabarovskyi Krai. It was quite late in the afternoon and we had been driving on this bumpy dirt road used mainly by logging trucks for more than an hour when all of a sudden I saw this dark brown (looked like that in the twilight) animal running about 200 meters in front of the car. Then suddenly I noticed the long tail and before I could say anything to the others the Russian game warden that was in the back of the car cried out loudly Tigr! Tigr!. Unfortunately the tiger ran quickly off the road and into the forest. Although it was not a very good sighting as the tiger was quite far away and it was getting dark I am nevertheless very excited about it. I had been told not to expect to see any tigers in the wild as they are not only very rare but also in general do what they can to avoid humans.

WCS Russia has a Small Grants Program that supports Wildlife Management Organizations in Primorskyi and Khabarovskyi krais to fund projects that help improve tiger and ungulate populations. The project may relate to salt and feeding grounds for ungulates, improving anti-poaching activities, building game warden cabins, etc. It was one of these projects we were going to visit when we came across the tiger. In the picture above we are checking out a different ungulate feeding site in the same county as where we came across the tiger. (Thanks for the photo Anton).

No comments: