BEIJING – Ustin, a rare Siberian tiger released into the wild by Russian President Vladimir Putin, is behaving badly in his new home in northeastern China.
The tiger, one of two to enter China from Russia’s Amur border region, bit and killed 15 goats and left another three missing on Sunday and Monday on a farm in Heilongjiang province’s Fuyuan county, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported.
“When I opened the goat house in the morning, dead goats were everywhere,” farm owner Guo Yulin told the agency Wednesday.
He said he was alerted by dog barks Sunday night, but that his check turned up nothing unusual. He said he woke up the next morning to find two goats dead and three others missing.
The goats’ skulls were crushed by the tiger and a hole the size of a human finger was visible on each goat’s head.
Guo said the tiger returned Monday night without making any noise, and the following morning he found 13 dead goats.
Local experts found the tiger’s footprints around the goat house and on its roof, Xinhua reported.
Guo said he was stressed by the raids, but he would be compensated by the local forestry department for the loss of the 18 goats. Xinhua said the farmer was also asked to either relocate his goats or reinforce his farm.
Russian experts rescued five tiger cubs two years ago. Ustin was one of three released by Putin in May.
Two of them have entered China. They are fitted with tracking devices and are monitored by Chinese wildlife protection workers.
The other tiger, Kuzya, was believed to have raided a farm and eaten five chickens last month in another Heilongjiang county.