Beijing, Oct 18 :
A tiger that entered China after being set free by Russian President Vladimir Putin may spend the winter in the country.
The tiger “Kuzya” tagged with a tracking device, is moving southward, further away from Russia, Eugene Simonov, coordinator of Rivers without Boundaries Coalition, a multinational, non-governmental organisation said Saturday.
“We have to prepare ourselves that Kuzya will spend winter in China. The Russian experts have called for local Chinese not to feed the tiger with any poultry which is vital to keep its wild survival ability,” Simonov said.
Kuzya was one of three Siberian tigers released by Putin in May, Xinhua reported.
Jiang Guangshu, the executive deputy chief of the field research centre under the state forest administration, said the Russian side had already updated him on the new findings.
“The tiger received special training before being released. It has been kept away from human beings. The food it needs, such as wild boars and rabbits, can all be found in the area where it is inhabiting,” Jiang said.
Hair, faeces and tracks possibly left by the tiger were discovered in areas where the animal is suspected to have travelled in the vast forest area of the Lesser Hinggan Mountain in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang.
Siberian tiger experts have arrived in the area to facilitate tracking, locating and protecting the tiger, Jiang said.
Less than 500 Siberian tigers remain in the wild, mainly in eastern Russia, north-east China and the northern parts of the Korean Peninsula.