January 21, 2022

Tiger Toes Get Chilly, Too


Tiger Toes Get Chilly, Too
The tiger in question was just a little smaller than the one in this photo. Pexels, Pixabay. 

Not even Russia's tigers are immune from cold winters, as the recent case of a frostbitten kitten demonstrates.

The Amur tiger cub, also known as a Siberian tiger,  suffering from frostbite, was found by a local fisherman months ago in Russia's Primorye region. When found, the female tiger cub was estimated to be around 4 to 5 months old, and weighed in at only 20 kilograms, half the normal size for her age. 

The tiger cub was taken in by the Amur Tiger Center to be cared for. Upon examination, it was determined she had frostbite on her tail, necrosis in her jaw, as well as other injuries. It was clear she would need extensive surgery to stop the decay of her tissue and cells caused by the necrosis. 

To prepare the cub for surgery, she first had to gain around 10 kilograms and had the tip of her tail cut off where frostbite had damaged it beyond repair. She was then ready to undergo her two-and-a-half-hour surgery. According to the Amur Tiger Center, the surgery was a success. While Sergei Aramilev, head of the Amur Tiger Center, seems confident that the necrosis has been stopped from harming the cub any further, her recovery is still unpredictable. 

While this case may simply seem like one unlucky tiger cub, it has been seen before, and there is a vast significance behind it. According to International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List, the amur tiger is listed as endangered. There are only about 600 of these tigers left in Russia, with the remaining in China, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). President Putin has proclaimed efforts in the protection of the endangered species a decade ago while serving as the nation's prime minister, focused on doubling the population of the tiger by the year 2022. 

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