Unique wildlife rehabilitation center in Khabarovsk region

Following a long course of treatment and rehabilitation, a Manchurian deer wounded by poachers was released into the wild by specialists from the Utyos rehabilitation center. It is located at the foot of the Sikhote Alin mountain range in the Khabarovsk region in Russia's Far East, said the center's chief Eduard Kruglov on Saturday.

This unique center opened seven years ago when Vladimir Kruglov, a tiger-trapper well-known in the Far East, caught his 41st tiger. The animal was so weak that Vladimir decided to take it home for treatment. Learning that Vladimir was treating a tiger, locals began to bring him young deer, bears and other animals they could find lost in the taiga.

In the outskirts of his village Kutuzovka Vladimir and his relatives fenced off a portion of the taiga forest as a "hospital" for wild animals.

Now the Utyos center occupies 30,000 hectares of cedar and wide-leaf forests in the flood-lands of the rivers Khor and Matai. Enclosures and an ecology pathway have appeared here in keeping with the international standards.

Tourist organisations in the Khabarovsk region bring here hundreds of tourists from Russia, Japan, the United States, China and other countries.

Upon graduation from an institute Vladimir's son, Eduard, became head of the wildlife center. Over five years of existence of this unique treatment and rehabilitation center for wild animals in distress, it has returned into the taiga three tigers, 42 brown and Himalayan bears, many deer, raccoons and foxes, said Eduard Kruglov.