Tiger killer given strong punishment



Posted on 15 November 2012  | 
An endangered Amur tiger killed by a deer hunter in Russia.
© WWF-Russia / Sergei AramilevEnlarge
A Russian man convicted of killing an endangered Amur tiger has been sentenced to 14 months disciplinary labour and required to pay a fine of US$ 18,500. The perpetrator’s hunting rights have also revoked and his firearm confiscated.

During the course of the trial investigators were able to prove that the killing was intentional, not self-defence as the man purported. Forensic evidence demonstrated that the man was a long distance from the tiger when the initial shots were fired and that the animal tried to flee and hide from the hunter.

The man pursued the wounded tiger, which made a final feeble attempt to defend itself before the fatal shot was fired at close range. The hunter sustained a scratch on his face and a broken finger. If not weakened, such a blow would have caused much more severe injuries.

WWF staff-members are greatly saddened by the death of the tiger, with which they were familiar with from years of conservation work in the area.

“We have met this male when doing annual winter tiger monitoring. It was never regarded as a conflict tiger,” said Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia’s Amur branch. “Examination of its dead body proved that the tiger was satiated and well-nourished. And a healthy and well-fed tiger never attacks a human if it is not wounded or threatened.”

Dr Sergei Aramilev, species program coordinator says: “I’m glad that a guilty verdict for tiger killers in Russia is becoming the norm. The principle of unavoidability of punishment works. This is the third guilty verdict in the past three years. For comparison, in the period since the collapse of the USSR to 2009 only one guilty verdict was imposed. All the rest of the poachers managed to evade responsibility that time.”

There are only an estimated 3.200 tigers remaining in the wild. They are being hunted for their pelts, bones and other parts that are prized as ornaments and used in traditional medicine. WWF and partner TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, are campaigning for greater protection for tigers and stronger penalties for poachers and traffickers. We are also calling on consumer countries of tiger products, such as China, to undertake widespread demand reduction campaigns to discourage the use of endangered species products.

An endangered Amur tiger killed by a deer hunter in Russia.
© WWF-Russia / Sergei Aramilev Enlarge
Investigators were able to prove that the tiger killing was not in self-defense.
© WWF-Russia / Sergei Aramilev Enlarge

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