Rare incident: Amur tiger reportedly hunting for seals

The Amur tiger called Roman which is being kept under a close watch at the Sikhote-Alin nature reserve (the Far East) is hunting for seals.

Candidate of biological sciences Yevgeny Smirnov, the leading expert at the reserve, told RIA Novosti that over the past 50 years tigers had been seen hunting for seals only twice.

In early November, the young tiger was trapped by scientists working within the framework of a joint Russo-American programme of studying the life of Amur tigers. A radio transmitter was placed on the tiger to make it possible to control the animal's hunting habits.

The field co-ordinator of the project from the American side Doctor John Goodrich has spent much time watching Roman and has visited the tiger's "dining-room" several times while its host was absent. According to him, it was quite easy for the beast of pray to catch a phoca sleeping on the coastal stones. Once the scientist himself stole up to watch a few seals lying in the warm sun in November and December from a distance of 13-15 metres.

Once scientists saw a tiger catch 7 phocae at a time and ate them in turn. According to Smirnov, seals were the main "product" in Roman's diet.

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