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Siberian tiger attacks dog, then kills pet's owner who followed its tracks, Russian officials say

A man whose dog was attacked and dragged away by a Siberian tiger followed the predator's tracks to find his pet — only to be attacked and killed by the tiger in a forest in eastern Russia, officials said Monday. The body of the man, who was not identified, was found with signs of an animal attack in the remote Khabarovsk territory, regional police said.

According to the Amur Tiger Center, the big cat attacked a dog owned by a resident of the village of Obor, prompting the owner to track the animal "for a considerable distance." Eventually, the pet's owner came across the predator near its prey in the forest.

"Presumably, the animal regarded this as a threat" and fatally attacked the man, the center said. The man was found dead near the remains of his dog, officials said.

Police and specialists from the local hunting department responded to the scene to investigate the circumstances of the attack. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, authorities will decide whether to remove the tiger from the wild, police said.

"We express our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of the deceased," the tiger center said in a statement.

Winter at Eberswalde Zoo
A Siberian tiger roams through its winter outdoor enclosure at Eberswalde Zoo on Feb. 9, 2021.  Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Authorities in Khabarovsk have reported almost 300 incidents of tigers wandering into populated areas in 2023, and occasionally the big cats have killed dogs and attacked people, the Moscow Times reported. Earlier this year, residents in the region asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help provide better protection from the endangered tigers, the newspaper reported. 

According to the Amur Tiger Center, Siberian tigers are the "largest living cat on the planet." Males weigh 400-700 pounds and are 9-12 feet long, including their tail, according to the Denver Zoo. Fewer than 500 Siberian tigers remain in the wild although there are several hundred in captivity.

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