Only in Siberia would you be trapped in your house by a tiger leaning on the door.
That is the exact situation that one man in a remote village of the wild Khabarovsk region of eastern Russia found himself in, when a badly injured tiger sought shelter from the freezing winter conditions on the porch of his house.
The badly malnourished and weak cat spent the entire day lying outside the house until an emergency team from the Amur Tiger Center arrived to rescue it. They managed to sedate the big cat and transport it to a rehabilitation center in Alekseevka village, where it is being looked after and treated with antibiotics for an infection in its mouth and gums.
“Alexey Khaideyev came across a tiger on his porch,” Galina Tsimarno, who lives across the street from Khaideyev, told the Siberian Times. “He and his wife and grandmother live on the outskirts of the village, near the river and forest. He wanted to go out to the yard in the morning, but his door was pressed by 'someone' from outside.”
“He began to push the door and heard a tiger growling. He went back inside and started calling to all the emergency services.”
The behavior of the tiger has led some to suggest that the cat was “seeking” help from humans. Most likely, however, the female tiger was suffering from an oral infection that prevented her from hunting and eating. In the cold winter, this meant her condition crashed and she sought shelter somewhere to rest. It just so happened to be a person’s porch.
The tiger is now being cared for the by the team at the tiger center. Her condition does not look good. At the time of writing, she is thought to be too emaciated to be put under anesthetic to conduct surgery. She is eating, however, and the team was able to mix antibiotics into her food in a bid to lessen the infection.
“We took all necessary measures during the seizure,” explains Yury Kolpak, head of the Conservation Department. “However, the tigress is very much depleted. She has serious gum injuries, there are no upper teeth. Therefore, her age is difficult to determine. Now it is very important to provide the predator with qualified assistance.”
The big cats are classed as endangered, with only around 500 thought to survive in the wild. While it used to range from the Caspian Sea (the cats are genetically indistinguishable from the Caspian tiger) in the west to the Korean Peninsula in the east, most of the remaining tigers are found in a small region of the Russian Far East.