Tendency to Relocate: Sanda and Amba Embark on a Journey

Амба. Фото: Центр "Амурский тигр"

The tigresses Sanda and Amba, released into the wild in Amur Oblast after rehabilitation, left their usual habitats. Judging by the data of GPS collars, both predators left the territory of Bureya Nature Park for the unknown to them territories.

Amba moved to the northern shore of the Bureya Reservoir. She searched for a suitable place for a crossing for a long time and eventually swam more than one kilometer. Then, the tigress went through Malmalta Reserve and crossed the Turan Mountain Range. Now the animal is in Khabarovsk Krai and is moving along a rather mountainous area to the east without long stops.

“Amba was released as an adult tiger, so different principles of adaptation work here, and we hope that the data obtained will help us to understand them better. We remember the story of Vladik the tiger, who returned ‘home’ from Bikin National Park. It is unknown whether Amba is going to repeat his feat. Nevertheless, she chose a more correct path than other tigers before her, who tried to return to Primorsky Krai through the floodplain of the Amur River, but stumbled into densely populated areas of China or Khabarovsk. The fact remains: both Amba and Sanda are good at hunting and providing themselves with food. We will continue to monitor them," said Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Center.

Amba was caught in Khasansky District of Primorsky Krai. She hunted dogs and livestock. After a rehabilitation course, this adult tigress was released into the wild at the end of July, on the eve of International Tiger Day.


На Санду надевают ошейник. Фото: Центр "Амурский тигр"

Sanda also set off on a trip. In her hunting grounds near the Bureya Reservoir, but slightly south of Amba’s usual places, she caught a young elk, and after that she moved north, which puzzled the scientists.

Sanda fell into the hands of specialists in May 2020 as an emaciated tiger cub at the age of about ten months. She regularly went to the village of Gornovodnoye, Olginsky District, Primorsky Krai. The animal was placed in the Center for the Rehabilitation of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in the village of Alekseevka. Treatment, rehabilitation and fostering were taken over by the Amur Tiger Center. A year later, Sanda was returned to the taiga in Arkharinsky District of Amur Oblast, where a program to restore the lost group of tigers is being implemented.

“Sanda kept us in suspense a little when, from her usual habitat, she decided to walk quite far to the north and went to the coast of the Bureya Reservoir, and then walked a considerable distance to the east. We already began to worry that she decided to continue moving in this direction following the example of previous released animals: Borya and Kuzya, in the fall, left the place where they’d been released in that direction. But now we see that she turned around and moved to the southwest, approaching her former habitat in Bureya Nature Park. It seems, she was looking around and checking what was on the other side of the reservoir from afar, without approaching the edge of the water body," said Vyacheslav Kastrikin, deputy director for science at Khingan State Reserve.

Rehabilitation, maintenance and release of tigers in difficult life situations due to injuries, diseases or insufficient food supply, as well as monitoring of their further adaptation in their natural habitat is carried out with the financial support and participation of the Amur Tiger Center. In Amur Oblast, the preservation of the population of the largest northern wild cat is also carried out by the specialists of Khingan State Nature Reserve and employees of the regional Department for the Protection, Control and Regulation of the Use of Wildlife and Their Habitats.