Montenegro seizes rare Siberian tigers from smugglers

PODGORICA (AFP) - Montenegrin police have seized two Siberian tigers and arrested three people for trying to smuggle the endangered animals.

The tigers, a male and a female, were found in a van at Petrovici village, near the town of Niksic on a road that connects Montenegro and Bosnia, in a regular police check on the vehicle, police told Dan newspaper Wednesday.

The three suspects, two of them from Serbia and a Montenegrin national, face charges of trafficking a protected species, which the daily added were each worth around 300,000 euros (380,000 dollars).

They were detained after police inspected their papers and discovered that they had illegally crossed the border with Bosnia, probably using a mountain road route.

Siberian tigers, the largest of all tiger subspecies, were hunted nearly to extinction by the mid-20th century. Fewer than 400 of the animals remain in the wild.


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