Russian PM Putin's endangered Siberian tiger goes missing

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London, Nov 26 (ANI): Endangered Siberian tigress that was shot by a tranquiliser dart and fitted with a satellite-tracking collar by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, has gone missing.

Putin's official website was tracking the tigress movements to highlight threats to the survival of the animal, also called the Amur tiger.

The female tiger's last location was recorded two months ago and nothing has been heard from her since, The Times reports.

Vladimir Krever, of the World Wildlife Fund in Russia, said that the tigress' tracking collar could simply have failed or broken off or she could have fallen victim to poachers.

Putin shot the five-year-old tiger in Russia's Far East in August last year. He allegedly saved a Russian television crew from attack after the animal escaped from a trap as he was arriving.

He was shown measuring the animal's teeth and examining her claws before placing the satellite collar around her neck and giving her a kiss.

The Amur tiger is the world's largest cat and can weigh up to 660 pounds (300kg) and measure ten feet in length.

Their numbers slumped to less than 50 in the 1940s but have since rebounded to around 500 in Russia's Far East and northern China.

Conservationists say that the Amur tiger remains on the critically endangered list, however, because of threats from illegal poaching and a loss of natural habitat.

The World Wildlife Fund in Russia estimates that up to 50 Amur tigers are killed every year. (ANI)

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