The second of three Siberian tigers that Russian President Vladimir Putin helped release into the wild last May has made like its chum and booked it over to China, the Global Times reports, citing a sulking Russian media source.
Ustin the tiger, fitted with a tracking collar, was detected roaming along the Heilongjiang River in China, about six or seven kilometers away from the border.
In early October, another one of Putin’s kitties, Kuzya, was spotted in the Taipinggou national reserve in Heilongjiang province.
A red-faced Russia reduced to a plea of sorts in a national newspaper, saying, “There is still hope that Kuzya will be sensible and swim back before the river turns to icy slush.”
Apparently, he did not. Russia has now asked China to take measures to protect the tiger after environmentalists voiced concerns that he might be hunted.
A tiger carcass is worth around $10,000, according to the NYTimes.