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A wounded tiger has amazed wildlife experts by coming out of the wild to seek human help after he was wounded.
The tiger, known as Tikhon, suddenly appeared at a remote Russian border post on the frontier with China over the New Year period, and refused to leave.
Even when the border guards – part of the FSB security service, formerly called the KGB – fired warning gunshots, the cat stayed put.
The alpha male, believed to be aged 15 or older, is said to have defied his instincts to seek human help after being wounded.
Tikhon is credited with playing a major role in halting the looming extinction of the Siberian big cat.
During the “active male’s” unusually long life, the highly endangered population of Amur – or Siberian – tigers rose from less than 350 to more than 550.
While waiting for help, the tiger fed himself by killing and eating two guard dogs belonging to the frontier guards.
Despite attempts to scare him away, Tikhon was still in the vicinity five days later.
Wildlife rangers were called in and noted the “atypical” behaviour by the Siberian tiger, a species endemic to the Far East of Russia that normally shuns human contact.