VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) — A Russian environmentalist says a rare Siberian tiger fitted with a radio-tracking collar by Vladimir Putin has vanished.
Vladimir Krever of the World Wildlife Fund said Wednesday the satellite tracking device has been silent since mid-September, possibly due to battery failure, a broken collar or poachers.
Russia's prime minister shot the five-year-old female tiger with a tranquilizer gun last year and helped place the transmitter around her neck. Visitors to his Web site have been able follow the animal as it prowled Russia's Far East.
The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said in a report issued Tuesday that the number of Siberian tigers may have declined by 40 per cent since 1997 due to pressures from poaching and the loss of habitat.