The Vladivostok News
February 19, 2008
An Amur tiger killed and ate a Far Eastern leopard in an encounter in Primorye’s Khasansky County which environmentalists attribute to a ‘lack of food’, a press statement from the Far Eastern branch of Russia’s WWF (World Wildlife Fund) reported February 15.
The leopard, most likely a cub, was attacked and killed while it was resting under the roots of a fallen tree. The tiger, with a footprint of 11.5 centimeters, is allegedly an adult male residing in the area.
The tiger managed to devour half of the carcass before being scared off by people approaching, the statement said.
“The killing of a leopard by a tiger is normal for predators which live in the same territory and are competitors for the same prey,” the statement cited Pavel Fomenko, coordinator of the biodiversity preservation program at the Amur branch of WWF as saying.
The major reason for such predatory attacks, Fomenko said, might be the shortage of food.
The probes taken by Russian environmentalists will determine the leopard’s genetic traits to further find out the range of shared interbreeding, with assistance from Japanese specialists.
This has been the second case of a tiger killing a leopard, the statement said.
According to the latest census of Far Eastern leopards taken in the winter of 2006-2007, there are only about 30 of the rare wild cats left in the territory today. The population inhabits southern Primorye, along the Russian-Chinese border.
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