Siberian tiger, world's biggest cat, found in Russian's home

10th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Siberian tiger, the world's largest feline, has been discovered in captivity at a woman's home in Russia's central Urals region, authorities said on Wednesday.

The inquiry began when prosecutors learned the woman was keeping the animal, also known as an Amur tiger in honour of the famous Siberian river, in a semi-free state on her property in the city of Yekaterinburg.

"The woman kept the animal without authorisation, and without respect for sanitary regulations," said the Yekaterinburg prosecutor in a statement Wednesday.

Officials were likely to confiscate the animal from the woman and then decide what to do with it next, the statement said.

It is not known how the woman got hold of the Siberian tiger -- there are only about 450 left in Russia's Far East, their natural habitat. Hunting tigers has been banned since 1947 and the Amur has been entered in Russia's Red Book of protected animals.

The WWF said in March the population of Amur tiger fell 15 percent in 2009 compared with the year before.

A summit of 13 countries which are home to wild tigers will be held in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg on November 21-24.

© 2010 AFP

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