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Putin saves journalists from tigress

Published time: August 31, 2008 16:40
Edited time: August 31, 2008 16:40
AFP Photo / Alexey Druzhinin

AFP Photo / Alexey Druzhinin

Vladimir Putin has rescued Russian TV journalists from a tiger attack by tranquilising it with a dart gun. The Prime Minister was visiting Ussuri national park in Russia’s Far East.

The five-year old Amur tiger was trapped by researchers of the Russian Academy of Science.

Vladimir Putin, who is on a working visit to the region, arrived at the reserve on a helicopter. There he met with scientists working on research and preservation of the Amur tiger – one of the rarest predators on the planet. There are only about 450 of the big cats in Russia.   

The scientists showed Putin equipment that helps them monitor migration routes and control health of the endangered species.

Among the gadgets there were GPS- Argos satellite navigation collars, special traps for taking photos of animals and a gun that fires tranquiliser darts.

Then Putin was given the opportunity to travel to the taiga to see the trapped tigress.

‘Vesti’ TV channel journalists, who were waiting for the Prime Minister at the site, just five metres away from the animal, didn’t notice that the big cat had freed itself.

They could have been attacked, but Putin reacted quickly and used the dart gun to stop the animal.  

Whilst the Amur tigress was sleeping, the premier put a GPS-collar on her neck and, together with scientists, measured her length from nose to tail tip.

Finally, Putin kissed her and said: ‘Goodbye!’