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Putin meets Mongol in Khakassiya

No update about Mongol's status unfortunately. Clearly there is a LOT of back-pedaling and damage control going on in a lot of places behind the scenes. UNDP/GEF took down its original piece from their site. No new info on the WWF-Russia or Severtsov Institute websites.

In the article below, we learn that Putin did in fact make a quick stop to see Mongol in Khakassiya, en route to Sakhalin.



In Khakassiya, Putin views a snow leopard - symbol of the Olympics in Sochi

20:50 19/03/2011

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 19 Mar - RIA News Agency. The Prime Minister's press secretary Dmitry Peskov reported that en route to Sakhalin, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stopped over in Khakassiya and saw a snow leopard.

"Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a stop in Khakassiya on a Friday night-Saturday morning flight to Sakhalin," Peskov told journalists.

According to Peskov, there Putin made the acquaintance of a snow leopard trapped several days earlier in Krasnoyarsk Krai. "The Prime Minister is actively engaged in wild animal conservation," said Peskov.

The male snow leopard was captured several days earlier in Krasnoyarsk Krai. The snow leopard is one of the symbols of the Sochi Olympics. Putin controls several wildlife conservation programs for Siberian tigers, beluga whales, and polar bears.

In August 2008, Putin visited Ussurisky Zapovednik, located 100 km outside of Vladivostok, where he collared a Siberian tiger with a satellite-tracking collar. At that time, Putin and specialists from Kronotsky Zapovednik on Kamchatka participated in a scientific expedition to study gray whales. Putin shot a whale with a specialized harpoon used to collect skin samples from the gray whale. In summer 2009 in Khabarovsk Krai, Putin place a satellite-tracking collar on a beluga whale known as Dasha. In April 2010 during a trip to Franz Josef Land, Putin joined a scientific expedition to study and increase the population of polar bears in the Arctic and while there radio-collared a polar bear.

In May 2010, Putin released one of two female leopards from Iran from cages into exhibit spaces in Sochi National Park.

[omitted info about Mongol's capture, clearly taken from the Severtsov Institute press release, including information about Mongol's wounds]

[omitted general info about snow leopards in general]

Translation by Jennifer Castner


Jenn, you can read Russian - see comments here (anonymous is one of the "experts"). Clearly from the short video in kp.ru you can see many things done not for the animal - but only for PR with the animal (footage of all mistreatment of the animal for mr.poo - is linked in the UPD in the bottom of the post).
The cat is said to be released back to original site - but no data from the signal/transmitter are shown. Also no clear photos that the animal indeed had wounds (given as the reasoning that it had to be kept in cage from 13th - day of capture till at least 19th (release date reported as 19th but also as 20th).

I'm a idiot - forgot to add the link to discussion in comments in the updated post here: http://lenaswan.livejournal.com/672505.html (in Russian).

Edited at 2011-03-21 09:31 am (UTC)
Thanks! I finally got a chance to read through the entire thread last night. (All that Russian/internet slang takes a long time to read! :)

I saw the pictures too - they certainly did nothing to back up IPEE's claims that the animal's wounds required treatment.

I think I read somewhere that the "first data is already available" from the collar. I'll find the link.

This whole event and its handling is a terrible travesty for Mongol, the S-Sh population, and Russian snow leopard science. It's going to take some time to recover from it.
I really can't judge myself how critical it is that Mongol was taken out for a week from his territory - could be that another male would have taken over, but I understood he is the eldest of the two traced so far there. Definitely there is no proof that there were wounds that could explain 7-days captivity+relocation+overdose - stupid Russian scientists also think that it is kind of "smth they posess" in terms of the maps/signal location in google/etc.etc. - So I would be surprised if we see the data from the collar soon enough. If at all - the destiny of the cat remains a mystery thus.

What concerns me more - they have to be totally cynical in their attitude to wild nature. I cannot imagine that they do not understand that 1 Leopard with collar tortured for Putin is far too far from what is conservation of wild cats. Science - yes, might be. Conservation - absolutely no.

But well, it's a long discussion.
I actually regret I did not close the WWF project there. It was one of the choice that time.
Also in the post comments - restored original info from UNDP-GEF, the cached news that capture in Khakassia was banned (in fact also no cats there, thus done in the reserve at the known site), and also the text from google cache that UNDP-GEF wrote. jpgs with screenshots can be enlarged on click.
I too am now wishing I had saved those web pages. I translated the original UNDP and IPEE press releases, as well as the Gazeta.ru articles here, as you see. I think they are complete translations, but obviously it would be better to have the original.

Did you get it I have found the texts in google cache? It's at the link in earlier comment (in the comments to the post where I raise questions to one of the "experts")
Dear All,

The Mongolian Government has recently proposed the legal hunting of up to four – and possibly many more – Snow Leopards in 2011, for “research”. Please visit my blog and sign the petition against this!

Birding Mongolia

What comes next? Trophy hunting of Great Bustards? White-headed Ducks? Gobi Bears? Wild Bactrian Camels?

Axel Braunlich