Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, October 10, 2008

Putin an Animal Lover?

Vladimir Putin, former President and current Prime Minister of Russia, just got a tiger cub for his birthday. He'll be donating it to a zoo or a wildlife preserve. No word on who gave it to him and I can't imagine where it came from (torn from its mother?), but an interesting part of the article is this insight into Vladimir Putin.

As president and now prime minister, Putin is known for his tough talk and macho image. But children and animals seem to bring out a softer side.

His dog, a Labrador retriever named Koni, is often with him, even during meetings with world leaders. He told journalists that Koni has not met the tiger cub.

In August, Putin had occasion to pet a full-grown female Ussuri tiger after shooting her with a tranquilizer gun. He was visiting a wildlife preserve in Russia's Far East and shot the 5-year-old tiger as part of a program to track the rare cats, also known as the Siberian, Amur or Manchurian tiger.

Once the tiger was asleep, Putin placed a collar with a GPS tracking system around her neck. Television footage showed him patting her cheek.

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