Siberian Tiger Kills Dog, Then Fatally Mauls Pet's Owner Who Tried to Track Down Missing Canine

Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger (For representational purposes only) Twitter

A man whose dog was attacked and dragged away by a Siberian tiger followed the predator's tracks to find his pet — only to be attacked and killed by the tiger in a forest in eastern Russia, officials said Monday.

The body of the man, who was not identified, was found with signs of an animal attack in the remote Khabarovsk territory, regional police said.

Tiger Saw Pet Owner as a 'Threat,' was Found Dead Near Dog's Remains

According to the Amur Tiger Center, the big cat attacked a dog owned by a resident of the village of Obor, prompting the owner to track the animal "for a considerable distance." Eventually, the pet's owner and the tiger came face-to-face in the forest.

"Presumably, the animal regarded this as a threat" and fatally attacked the man, the center said. The man was found dead near the remains of his dog, officials said.

Police and specialists from the local hunting department responded to the scene to investigate the circumstances of the attack. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, authorities will decide whether to remove the tiger from the wild, police said.

"We express our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased," the tiger center said in a statement.

According to the Amur Tiger Center, Siberian tigers, also known as the "Amur Tiger," are the "largest living cat on the planet." Males weigh 400-700 pounds and are 9-12 feet long, including their tail. Fewer than 500 Siberian tigers remain in the wild although there are several hundred in captivity.

Tiger Attacks Increasing Due to Logging, Hunting of Its Prey

Authorities in Khabarovsk have reported almost 300 incidents of tigers wandering into populated areas in 2023, and occasionally the big cats have killed dogs and attacked people, the Moscow Times reported.

Experts say that an uptick in encounters between humans and Siberian tigers could indicate "serious disruptions" in their habitats.

"In my view, [increased tiger attacks are] associated with the destruction of the predator's habitats due to logging, excessive hunting of [the tiger's prey] and African swine fever, which has decimated the remaining wild boar population," zoologist Sergei Kolchin told the environmental news outlet Kedr.

In August, residents in the Khabarovsk region asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help ensure better protection against Siberian tigers. Putin has for years been a vocal advocate of protecting the endangered tiger species, and in 2013 he even created a foundation for their conservation.