Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The World's Largest Feline Discovered In Captivity

A Siberian tiger, the world's largest feline, has been discovered in imprisonment at a woman's home in Russia's central Urals region, authorities said on Wednesday.

The inquiry began when prosecutors came to know that the woman was keeping the animal, also known as an Amur tiger in honor of the famous Siberian river, in a semi-free state on her property in the city of Yekaterinburg.

"The woman kept the animal without authorization, and without esteem for sanitary regulations," said the Yekaterinburg prosecutor in a statement.

Officials were likely to seize the animal from the woman and then decide what to do with it next, the statement said.

It is not known how the woman got hold of the Siberian tiger - there are only about 450 left in Russia's Far East, their natural habitat. Hunting tigers has been forbidden since 1947 and the Amur has been entered in Russia's Red Book of protected animals.

The WWF said in March the inhabitants of Amur tiger fell 15 percent in 2009 compared with the year before.

A summit of 13 countries which are habitat to wild tigers will be held in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on November 21-24.
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