A Siberian tiger that trapped a family inside their village home may have come looking for “help” with its dental problems.
The family in the village of Solontsovy woke to find a rare Siberian tiger lying against their front door on Jan. 28.
Unable to get out, they called authorities for help, but it took a day for emergency help to arrive at the remote village in the far west of the country.
Authorities took the animal to a specialist tiger center in the region, where they discovered it was emaciated, most likely starved from being unable to eat due to dental problems.
“The tigress behaved absolutely peacefully, as if she was waiting for help,” said Sergei Aramilev, director general of the Amur Tiger Center.
“The animal is very exhausted, but there are no visible firearm injuries. However, there are problems with the oral cavity,” he said in a statement.
He described the tiger’s medical condition as severe.
Siberian tigers are rare, with only 500 estimated to be living in western Russia.
A resident of the village, Galina Tsimarno described what happened to the Siberian Times newspaper.
She said that the tiger had come to the home of a man called Alexey Khaideyev in the night at the village in the Lazo Municipal District.
“He and his wife and grandmother live on the outskirts of the village, near the river and forest. He wanted to go out to the yard in the morning, but his door was pressed by ‘someone’ from outside”
When he pushed he heard growling, so we went back inside and called emergency services.
‘The tiger spent all the day on Alexey’s porch until the emergency team arrived,” she said.
But despite eventually being whisked off to expert care, authorities have warned that treating the tigress is proving challenging.
“We will not hide that the situation with the tigress is sad,” said Yury Kolpak, head conservationist at the Ministry of Natural Resources. “Now everything depends on her.”
“The animal, though she came for help, does not allow us to approach to her,” he said, according to the Siberian Times. “Now even injections are carried out remotely.”
He said that in her current state, she could not receive the operation she needs, as the anesthetic could kill her in her current condition.
The tiger is eating, however, having been put on a diet of ground meat laced with antibiotics.