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It was before amphors*: Putin and the tigress

04.03.2012

Русская версия: "Это было до амфор: Путин и тигрица"

More than a year ago I wrote an article for the BIGCATS.RU project called Tiger Summit: Reasons and results!. Today, you’ll see a continuation of some sort, though event, which i’m talking about, took place quite some time ago, i think, it’s still quite interesting. We’ll tell about the relationships of Putin and the tigress, which, unfortunately, remained somehow unnoticed, in contrast to the heroic amphorae discovery, which bloggers disassembled for details.

31-th of August 2008, V.V. Putin went to taiga, where, just in time, a tigress was caught for VIP-show scientific research, that sould’ve helped to preserve this magnificent predator from Red Book. Putin, of course, decided to fulfill his duty and decided to put a GPS-collar on the tigress himself.

What happened to the tigress? Official media reports, that she’s fine: she gave birth to kittens (father is unknown), her location is displayed in the network [1], there are also her photos, after the meeting with premiere [2,3].

Unfortunately, talks spoil the fairytail:

Today i went to the local biological institute. Of course, we mentioned the episode about the Putin and the tigress. Local zoologists mentioned, that they feel ashamed for the moscow colleagues.
I wonder, will the organisers of the VIP-show become pariahs in the scientific community?
[4]

"Michail, since we started this conversation about tigers, i can’t skip the sticky situation about the so-called Putins tigress. Strange story it is. Some say, the tigress wasn’t real From the zoo, i mean."
"I can’t say for sure, but there are a couple coicidences, and they’re strange. Some say, that a week before all this happened, the young tiger had disappeared from the Khabarovsk zoo.. Three days after premiere’s departure she appered again. She died three weeks later."
"I hope not from excess of emotions?.."
"I know nothing about the tigress from the Khabarovsk zoo. However, open official sources told us, that the tigress caught for Putin, was captured for approximately 6 hours. Any wild animal can’t be trapped for such a long time. Even more, close to a tent camp, people wandering around, journalists with cameras… Lets stop our imagination and pick National Geographic's Siberian Tigers. There’s a good example of a captive tiger. He roars, trying to attack humans, that is, behaves ver active. The tigress here were just laying on the ground and licking her paw. Some tend to think, she was constantly immoblised for 5-6 hours by a special vaccine. I’ve dealt with this vaccine, and i know – it’s not recommended to use for more than two hours. Because the animal will suffer from that…"
"So, in fact, the tigresses life was in jeopardy?"
"People who have done this, surely knew that they were going at very high risk. But, which tigress died can be easily checked. Each animal has its own individual fur pattern. So, it’s easy to identify each tiger…"
[5]

Whaaat???? Amphoras are not real?

The tigress was captive for 6 hours and just sat there quietly? Коммерсантъ (russian newspaper) confirms this info[6]. If she was sitting quietly, than she was sedated with extremely high doses, which is very dangerous for health. And then i decided to check, if the Serga, watched by the whole world web is the same tigress, collared by the premiere. I’ve downloaded photos of Serga, made by phototraps [2,3], and photos and videos of the premiere "achievement"[7]. Tiger stripes – are equivalent for human fingerprints. If there were no replacements, then the pattern should match perfectly. Initially, i decided to show photos to a specialist. The verdict was "there are different animals". The experts opinion is cool enough, but i also decided to compare the photos myself. For comparison, i took the following photos, below: (1) from site [7], (2) from site [3] "Serga tigress, 28 June 2009 Ussuri Reserve. Photo courtesy of IPEE RAS" and (3) from site [2]. Note, that [2] and [7] – are different pages of the same official site of Russia prime Minister, therefore it’s difficult to call them "fake".

Изображение


It’s clear, that there is the same tigress on pictures 2 and 3, but she bears no resemblance to the one, that was with Putin. Why are the tigresses different? I wonder, if the Putin’s show cost the life of the tigress?


Update from March 09, 2012

Thanks to LJ users, commented on this post, we’ve learned some new details. Vladimir Melnikov gave a wonderful idea: he suggested to look for the "putins tigress" among the tigers in different zoos. Michail Kretschmar in his post [5] wrote: "Some say, that a week before all this happened, the young tiger had disappeared from the Khabarovsk zoo." The only thing left, was to find photos of tigers, dated by 2008 before Putins "act" and make a comparison. 09.03.2012 LJ user birdchuvashia posted an interesting link in the comments [8] which led to photoalbum called "Far East Zoo 11.06.2008", where an interesting picture of two tigers is present. Below i present the comparison of tigers from a discovered photo (lower one) and the shot taken from report of Putins "heroic act" (upper one).

Изображение


Q.E.D! With the 99,9(9)% probability this is the same tigress. 31 of August 2008 a VIP-show called "Putin and the tigress" was arranged at the public expense, using the zoo tigress, it had nothing to do with environmental protection and the preservation of tigers. The purpose of the show was only to increase Putins ratings. Also, during this show, life and health of the mentioned tigress were heavily endangered. According to some reports [5] tigress didn’t survive this show and died three weeks later. I’ll gladly accept any materials, which could confirm or refute this data.

In conclusion, I want to give some quotes from the comments of Michael Kretschmar to this post (without the update) in LJ[9]:

Actually, I didn’t post this pictures in my LJ, cause i was leaving to serve in the Ministry of nature resources.
Special thanks for being so meticulous.


But in fact, I compared these photos as soon as there were pictures from the camera traps. However, and as it was known to the smallest detail - just a snapshot analysis gave a hundred percent proof. Of course, someonecan say, that photos were fabricated by US State Departmen agentst, but this sounds unbelievable.

Well, and show with stunt tigress – looked very stupid. For example, I was asked which shampoo can be used to wash her...


Update from March 14, 2012

Time has come for another small update, in which I want to thank Alexey Navalny and other popular bloggers for their help, which greatly helped not only to draw attention to the story, but also to find out some new details.

1. It seems, "Putin's tigress" – is Aralia. She is a sister of tiger called Barhat (Velvet) (their photo together [10]). She lived in the PriAmurskiy (Amur) Zoo. According to info[11] she was supposed to be transfered to a Portugal zoo, but she just disappeared, but we’re not fully sure, if she’s dead. In the meantime, it is clear only that after the show, she disappeared somewhere. There is no more information on her, unlike her brother. We want to believe she’s still alive.

2. I thought, that on premiere’s site [1] we’re monitoring Serga, although the implementation of this system of on-line monitoring raises many questions. How is the data collection from the collar happening? Howlong does the collar’s battery live? Do they replace collars from time to time? e t.c. But today Alexey Navalny in his post [12] mentioned:

After my twitter post, i found a man, who was hired by Ria-news, for making a fake movement map of non - existent "putins tigress" on Putins site.
I’ve talked to him personally, common acquaintances also confirm his information.
RIA-News call the fake coorinates input "the kitty walk".


3. I’d like to comment on following speech from Natalya Remennikova [13]:

"Putin supports our project. Serga tigress really was collared in 2008 with the premiere’s support. The tigress is alive and well. She’s located in the Ussuri nature Reserve. Somebody is imagining things. People with no reliable information, especially people who are far from science, are interested in political moments. As for the matching stripes on tigers fur, there certain methods of photo identification. There are our phototraps, which are registering tigers. Then our zoologists are working with the photos. And they have certain criteria, where to look for this stripes. These stripes are not only on the muzzle, it’s important to understand."

Serga is alive, that’s out of the question. But Putin collared another tigress. Even in kindergarten we’re taught to play the game Find 10 Differences. Pity, that this simple operation in your facility can only be performed by biological science candidates, but i want to mention, that the photos were shown to a professional zoologist first. As for the stripes – you can watch them anywhere. Pictures of tigers are taken from the different angles, but having an image of the entire body, we can easily identify each and every individual. The fur pattern is unique, just like the humans fingerprints, on all fingers, not only on certain ones.

P.S. Postscript to the media, which are very interested in the reasons and purpose of this investigation today. Big cats – is my hobby, so at first it was just interesting to check Michail Kretschmar’s hints, which i’ve found in his blog. Then I realized that this material, though a little bit old, must necessarily be made public. Why? Not for punishing someone responsible for this show, although it would be quite good. To control the country, we choose not the kings, but managers, for whom we are employers. We have to control them, for even the most excellent worker, feeling his power and impunity, will become a monster. The publication of this material - is primarily my civic duty! I want, politicians to wake up, hearing that their raiting is falling, i want them to realise, that they can only raise it by doing their job, because showing off can be easily spotted, and raiting will be even lower. I don’t like politics, but i understand, that we all have to do it a little in order to control power. Only then will there be public servants, not masters of life. In this story I was most disappointed that so many people were aware of this show, but chose to remain silent. As long as we remain silent, there will be no change for the better. Zoologists are whining, that environmental protection is poor, that funding is not sufficient... I understand, that, perhaps, someone is paid for this service, but definitely not everyone. If you choose to remain silent – everything will be even worse.


Update from March 16, 2012

Good news for a change, it seems that Kretschmar and others, who wrote about tigress death were wrong. LJ user romzes_iv in his blog [14] wrote, that he contacted Zelenogorsk zoo and found following information about the tigress: "She’s alive and well in Zelenogorsk, ecological museum of flora and fauna. I’ve called them, and got the confirmation, that tigress is alive, healthy, and were transported to them in 2008 from Far East." This confirms the news text [15] from 11 December 2008 on Zelenogorsk tv company site: "Five years old Aralia is also a newcomer, just another day this tigress was brought from Khabarovsk zoo". In the same post LJ user serg757 posted a link in the comments [16] to the 45-th number of Zelenogorsk public newspaper Секундочку!!! (Sekundochku/Wait a second!!!) December 2009, there is a picture of Aralia in the Zelenogorsk zoo. Stripes pattern proves, that this is the same tigress that was in the woods with Putin and previously lived in the Amur zoo. Photo below.

Изображение


* – August 10, 2011 Russian prime – minister Vladimir Putin dived to the Gulf ot Taman, during his visit to the archeological excavation of ancient greek city Phanagoria, while diving he found and picked two amphoras. In his interview, V.Putin admitted that it was his third attempt at scuba diving. The prime minister said he found the vessels at a two meters depth. However, bloggers quickly discovered that it was an imitation of the finds: amphoras were perfectly clean and related entirely to a medieval period, whereas according to LJ user dis_brukinson "During the whole Phanagoria research (since 1936) we haven’t found a complex of medieval amphoras in the submerged part of the city, nor the single medieval amphorae. But there’s plenty of antique amphoras."

Sources cited

  1. THE AMUR TIGER PROGRAMME - http://premier.gov.ru/patron/en/tiger/map/#
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/1.PNG
  2. THE AMUR TIGER PROGRAMME - http://premier.gov.ru/patron/en/tiger/m ... otos/38616
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/2.PNG
  3. Программа изучения амурского тигра на Российском Дальнем Востоке - http://tiger.sevin-expedition.ru/foto/foto_479.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/3.PNG
  4. Живой Журнал Михаила Кречмара - http://kiowa-mike.livejournal.com/403747.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/403747.PNG
  5. Живой Журнал Михаила Кречмара - http://kiowa-mike.livejournal.com/413091.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/413091.PNG
  6. Ъ - http://www.kommersant.ru/Doc/1019280
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/6.PNG
  7. THE AMUR TIGER PROGRAMME - http://premier.gov.ru/patron/en/tiger/premier#
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/7.PNG
  8. Дальневосточный ЗООсад 11.06.2008 - http://metallist.mega-mir.com/galleries/4170/221769/
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/8_1.PNG http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/8_2.PNG
  9. Комментарии к этой заметке в ЖЖ - http://bigcats-ru.livejournal.com/116816.html#comments
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/9_1.PNG http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/9_2.PNG http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/9_3.PNG
  10. Портал 27.ru - Приамурский Зоосад - http://portal27.ru/welcome/afisha/priamurskij-zoosad/
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/10.PNG
  11. "Российская газета" - Дальний Восток №4634 10.04.2008, 02:45 - http://www.rg.ru/2008/04/10/reg-dvostok/zoosad.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/11.PNG
  12. Блог Алексея Навального - http://navalny.livejournal.com/692600.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/12.PNG
  13. Радио Свобода - http://www.svobodanews.ru/content/article/24515629.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/13.PNG
  14. Антилибераст - http://romzes-iv.livejournal.com/343896.html
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/14.PNG
  15. Телерадиокомпания "Зеленогорск" - http://www.trk.zelenogorsk.ru/index.php ... s&id=18095
    Screenshot: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/15.PNG
  16. Зеленогорская городская общественная газета "Секундочку!!!" №45, декабрь 2009 - http://edu.zelenogorsk.ru/wordpress/wp- ... sec_45.pdf
    Scanned article: http://bigcats.ru/images/putigr/16.PNG

Translated by Eugene Kudashov for BIGCATS.RU.


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