World's tigers 'close to catastrophe': Putin
The situation of the world's last wild tigers "is close to catastrophe", Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Tuesday told a summit that aims to save the animal from extinction.
"The situation of the tiger is close to catastrophe," Putin told the global tiger summit in Saint Petersburg, the first ever meeting of world leaders devoted to saving the fabled beast.
He said that the world's population of wild tigers had declined by a factor of 30 over the last century to 3,200 individuals while their habitat area was only seven percent of what it was before.
"It is a tragic and deplorable result," said the Russian strongman, who has personally championed protecting Russia's remaining population of wild tigers in its Far East.
© 2010 AFP