The Siberian tiger, the world’s biggest cat, once roamed Asia’s forests in the thousands. Sergei Bereznuk is battling poachers and habitat destruction to save this endangered animal from extinction.
The tiger has a powerful grip on the human psyche, symbolizing a potent energy and the power of kings. But, in spite of this infatuation, this charismatic species is endangered – because of human rapacity and ignorance. Just over 100 years ago, the global population of tigers in the wild was 100,000; today only about 3,500 survive.
Anti-poaching activities alone will not win the war against poachers. We have to fight for the hearts and minds of the local people. We must educate our future generations. We must protect the tiger for our future before his time runs out!
Formerly an engineer, Sergei Bereznuk was forced by the breakup of the Soviet Union to find another job. He discovered tiger conservation, and since then has been passionately engaged in championing the Siberian (or Amur) tiger in its principal homeland, Russia’s far east. The Siberian tiger is one of the last six tiger subspecies (three subspecies are now extinct).
Whether using the latest technology to track down tiger poachers or lobbying his government, Bereznuk is determined to save the Siberian tiger from becoming a magnificent but vanished animal, known only through stories and photos. Some of the greatest successes scored by Bereznuk and his Phoenix Fund have been establishing the annual Tiger Day that attracts thousands of Russian visitors, mainly children, to celebrate the lives of tigers, and the release, after rehabilitation, of young tigers into the wild.
Siberian tigers in the wild
The average weight of an adult Siberian tiger
People who attended the 2015 Tiger Day in Vladivostok