In honor of International Tiger Day, I have a very special tiger story to share with you. This is Nadia's story. When we captured and radio-collared Nadia, a typically beautiful female Siberian tiger, we thought she would teach us a lot about how tigers outside protected areas survive in Russia. Nadia was the first tiger we radio-collared outside Russia's largest tiger reserve, Sikhote-Alin.
We did indeed learn a great deal by following Nadia over three years, including when she finally began to raise a litter of three cubs. But on a cold December day, we were horrified to find only the skin of a tiger — all that was left of what was once a beautiful tigress, temporarily stashed in the snow by a poacher. Nadia was gone, but she still had one more lesson for us.
All that remained of Nadia, when we found her on that cold December day. - Photo by John Goodrich Tracks in the snow revealed how the poacher had crept up to and shot Nadia, who was probably napping after eating her fill from a wild boar she had just killed. But those tracks revealed something else: her three cubs were still out there, and still coming back to the last place they had found their mother, and were still feeding off of the remains of that wild boar. We had lost Nadia, but we were determined not to lose her cubs as well. But saving them would take resources and a determination to do what had never been done before.
WCS has more boots on the ground protecting tigers than any other non-profit organization in the world. But we need help to save animals like Nadia from becoming just a skin in someone's living room. Please, help us meet our $25,000 goal and be a part of the moment when together we save the future of wild tigers.
Tiger Program Coordinator
Wildlife Conservation Society