There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
--- Peter Broekhuijsen ---

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Netherlands peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 09-30-2021, 07:37 AM by peter )


a - Introduction

Almost a month ago, Sanjay received two emails from an " ... anonymous user ... " (from Sanjay's email). A user, to be more accurate, "... not happy with ... " the posts of 'Apex Titan'. This new member of Wildfact posts in the tiger extinction thread about tigers and bears. 

In this post, I will first discuss the emails of the anonymous user. In the second paragraph, I will respond to the accusations. In the third, I will explain why I contacted 'Apex Titan'. In the fourth paragraph, a few remarks about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East will be added. The last paragraph, as usual, will have a few conclusions. 

b - The emails of the anonymous user

b1 - First email:

" ... Wildfact used to be known as a forum were misinformation was not allowed. Now there is a poster called 'Apex Titan', who has already been banned three times before from Wildfact, posting pure misinformation about tigers and bears. It's clear that his only agenda is to downgrade bears, you can clearly see this in every post he makes. So this is now allowed at Wildfact? A guy who was banned 3 times for posting 'outright misinformation' can register again and be allowed to post? No one challenges his posts in the slightest bit. Let it be known that because of this, there are a lot of people who don't consider Wildfact as reliable anymore and have deleted it from their favorites. So this is making you guys look bad. Nice going ... " (copy of the first email).

(Comment) - The anonymus user then provided a link to one of the posts of 'Apex Titan' in this thread. After the link, he concluded:

" ... That is all he does, crap on bears. No one even tells him anything. Nice going Peter and the rest ... ".

b2 - Second email:

" ... So as I was saying in my previous message, Wildfact didn't allow this kind of behaviour before, but now it seems like the 'tiger fanboys' have finally come out in you guys. Check this out, here is 'Apex Titan' who at that time was 'Ghengis' getting banned by Peter for posting 'outright misinformation' ... ".

(Comment) - The anonymous user provided a link to post 1,696 in this thread. After the link, he continued:

" ... So now not only is he allowed to post again, but no one even challenges his posts in the slightest bit? Like I said, there are several important posters who are aware of this and are pissed off at Wildfact. Are you guys going to allow him to crap on bears on every single post? He thinks tigers 'dominate' bears, while the reality is that tigers completely avoid adult male brown bears. So now you guys now, your best bet is to BAN him for a 4th time, there is no other way around it. Unless you want Wildfact to become a fanboy forum and misinformation. Think about it ... " (copy of the second email). 

c - Response  

I promised Sanjay I would respond to both emails, but admit it took an effort. The reason is the emails aren't about content (information based on research), but about something of a different nature. Anyhow. 

My first task was to find the anonymous user. It turned out to be a former member of Wildfact, who now calls himself 'Brobear'. He's the administrator, and a mod, of a forum called 'Domain of the Bears'. 

At Wildfact, although new to 'forums' back then, he was offered the position of moderator. His job was to develop the bear section. He accepted the offer, but left one day without leaving a trace and never returned. Years later, we learned he had joined another forum. I know it's difficult for bears to resist the urge to wander off every now and then, but he could have informed us.  

A few years later, 'Shadow' joined Wildfact. I quickly noticed his inquisitive and active nature and offered him moderation only a few months later. His job was to develop etc. He accepted the offer, but, without leaving a word, decided for a long walk one day in December. I assumed he got involved in some serious sleeping (it was, after all, nearly winter), but he showed up out of nowhere about half a year later to tell us he had joined another forum. Initially, he didn't quite like the climate of 'Domain of the Bears'. After a serious collision with a member easily dwarfing the most notorious tiger 'fanboy', he decided to return to Wildfact. After informing us about his whereabouts, he adapted his office and continued with tigers and bears. 

Just before he returned, a former member ('Ghengis', now using the name 'Apex Titan'), had rejoined our community. The first three attempts resulted in a ban. The last ban, as 'Brobear' wrote in his 'anonymous' emails, was a result of posting misinformation.  

Most members banned from Wildfact for posting misinformation or starting a forest fire tend to develop in these departments, but most isn't all and 'Apex Titan' is an example. After his last ban, he started his own forum. He also joined Carnivora. His posts about tigers and bears in that forum caught the attention of some members of Wildfact. They informed me and I decided to read a few posts. Although the fire typical for his nature was still there, I concluded he had learned to use it in a more productive way. 

The information he posted was (largely) unknown, new and interesting. In spite of that, I decided against using it for the tiger extinction thread. The reason is I didn't want to take the credit he deserved. Not much later, he rejoined Wildfact and started posting in the thread 'Amur tigers'. I contacted him and offered him the opportunity to post in the tiger extinction thread. That thread has more views, meaning his posts would reach more readers. In order to prevent forest fires, I asked him to write article-like posts based on good information only and to refrain from opinions. He accepted and started posting. 

In one of his first posts he discussed a recent interview with A. Batalov, a Russian biologist kneedeep involved in tigers and bears in the Russian Far East. In the interview, Batalov, Director of (what used to be) a hunting estate located near Chabarowsk, talked about a large male brown bear known as 'Chlamyda' and a tigress with cubs known as 'Rochelle' ('Rachelle'). The big bear had followed and robbed the tigress for a considerable period of time in 2017. The result was trouble. As Amur tigers are endangered, hunting the big bear was considered. The tigress, also fed up, was heard calling to the father of the cubs, tiger 'Ochkarik'. Batalov, although very experienced, said he never heard a call like that. The male tiger quickly responded. A video showing him and 'Rachelle' was posted some time ago. When those interested thought a showdown would follow, the bear suddenly disappeared, never to be seen again. 

Not much later, rumours about the bear and the tiger were discussed at different forums. Our former mod 'Wolverine' kept us informed. After he left, our new bear mod 'Shadow' decided to contact Batalov. He got permission to inform us about the exchange on the bear and the male tiger. Batalov, to keep it short, said he didn't know what had happened to the bear. That was, if correct, in 2019. A few years later, however, Batalov, in two interviews, said he was sure the big bear had been killed and eaten by tiger 'Ochkarik'. 

This statement resulted in quite a bit of commotion. One reason is an average adult male brown bear is a large and robust animal, well surpassing the weight of an average adult male Amur tiger. Another is tiger 'Ochkarik' is a bit smaller than average (Batalov, who has weighed quite a few bears, estimated the male tiger at 160-180 kg), whereas the bear, estimated at 350-400 kg, was an exceptional individual. Most of those considered to be in the know think adult male Ussuri brown bears are out of the predatory reach of adult male Amur tigers. Russian biologists, in fact, never found solid evidence of an adult male brown bear killed and eaten by an adult male Amur tiger. Keeping all of this in mind, many of those interested in tigers and bears wondered why Batalov concluded the big bear had been killed and eaten by a male tiger less than half his weight.   

When 'Apex Titan' started about the interviews, 'Shadow' informed him about Batalov's opinion in 2019. He added he didn't understand why Batalov had changed his mind between 2019 and 2021 and concluded it might have been an attempt to attract a bit of attention (Batalov also offers tours for small groups). Our new member 'Apex Titan' knew about Batalov's opinion, but thought Batalov must have had a good reason to change his mind. Our mod 'Shadow' didn't agree. 

Their exchange, to keep it short, didn't result in a debate. The reason was 'Shadow' didn't want to get involved. In spite of that decision, he did nothing but debate. That is to say, he continued to oppose 'Apex Titan' in every possible way. When it became clear he was trying to discredit 'Apex Titan' and stop him from continuing, an intervention couldn't be avoided. When I told him his attempt to prevent a healthy discussion didn't fit his position (he was, after all, a moderator at Wildfact), 'Shadow' decided to leave Wildfact and rejoin the forum he had left a few months before. 

The immediate result was a discussion at 'Domain of the bears'. During the discussion, it was quickly decided to dismiss 'Apex Titan' as a 'tiger fanboy'. Another result was 'Brobear', disguised as 'an anonymous user', decided to contact the owners of Wildfact. That is to say, not the one interested in tigers and bears, but the one trying to run a forum. And when his indirect approach, as was to be expected, resulted in a delay, he, on top of that, had the audacity to dismiss the one he really wanted to address. The outcome of this decision was a climate that resulted in hostility and insult. What I'm saying is 'Brobear' opened a door that should stay closed at all times. 

As an administrator and a mod, 'Brobear', you are the one responsible for the climate.  

And what was the reason you decided to open the door? To address me? About me telling a mod not to prevent, but to encourage and guide a debate about the, largely unknown, interactions between the two largest predators in an unknown region? For what reason? To prevent posters from discussing things not quite to your liking? But the aim of forums is to inform the general public about reality, remember? The last thing we want, is to create a picture existing in the minds of those guided by preference. This is what people you dismissed as 'fanboys' do all the time. Also remember 'Shadow' wasn't dismissed. He was addressed for a very good reason. He didn't like it, left and rejoined 'Domain of the Bears', where he decided to downgrade (one of the co-owners of) Wildfact, followed by 'Apex Titan' and Batalov. And for what, 'Brobear'? I did what any co-owner of a public forum should do: to protect the free flow of information. Not just any information, but good information (information based on research).      

The question is if 'Apex Titan' is contributing in this department. In spite of your judgement, the answer is affirmative. His posts are based on research and insights of those considered to be 'in the know'. The main reason it seems to be somewhat one-sided at times is those interested in bears decided to leave the debate. For unknown reasons, they seem to prefer to complain about the info he posts in a room filled with people with similar opinions. As that's what most, if not all of them, offer: opinions. But 'Apex Titan' isn't involved in opinions. I asked him to post good information and that's what he is doing. If you disagree with the info he posts, 'Brobear', contact those involved in research, articles, books and videos.  

My advice is to quit blaming those you dismissed and to join the debate. The only condition is quality. We want an exchange based on research, arguments and sound reasoning. No opinions, no accusations, no forest fires and no unfounded statements and conclusions. 

Before you get active abroad, solve a problem at home. I'm referring to one of the points made one of the former members of 'Domain of the bears'. In one of his last contributions, 'Smedz' said both you and 'Shadow' had broken a vital rule of your forum. The rule to refrain from actions that could result in hostility between different forums, I mean. 

I agree with his observation. There are not that many forums about wild animals. What they need, is good publicity. The more people visiting our forums, the better. It's one of the best ways to get readers interested in things that need to be discussed before a point of no return is reached. The last thing we want, is forum owners and mods dismissing each other.     

The poster you targeted in your two emails, by the way, is quite aware in this department. The thread he uses to inform our members and readers about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East and northeastern China (referring to this thread) got more views than ever before. Not bad for a new member so easily discredited by so many for no reason at all.   

After hearing about 'Domain of the Bears' ('Shadow' informed us), I visited your forum a few times. I think it's a nice forum, but my advice is to stay away from unfounded accusations, dismissals and all the rest of it. I hope you'll use your energy in the best possible way to develop your forum. Best of luck and kind regards from all of us! 

d - About tigers and bears in the Russian Far East and northeastern China

Although quite a few of those interested in tigers and bears have outspoken opinions about (interactions between) male Amur tigers and male Ussuri brown bears, things are all but clear. A few examples. 

Male tigers seem to avoid male brown bears in some seasons (referring to the mating season in particular), whereas male brown bears seem to avoid male tigers near their kill. This is quite something, as bears of all ages and sizes visit tiger kills whenever possible. While it is true some bears are prepared and able to drive tigers of their kills, male tigers do not seem to be included. Could it be adult males of both species avoid situations that could result in hostility? 

Those interested in bears often refer to the size of wild Amur tigers today. The table published in 2005 suggests 'adult' males (tigers of 3 years and over) average 389 pounds, but it included young adults and a male in very bad health. All tigers in the table were captured in a region in which Aldrich footsnares were used. Some males suffered significant damage to their teeth trying to get out of these footsnares. In a document published on a Russian forum almost a decade ago, it was stated the campaign to capture tigers in this way had an effect on the number of male tigers in that particular region. Some male tigers surviving the attempt to get out of these footsnares quickly deteriorated. One of them killed a villager later. Although the criticism was countered ('Tooth breakage in tiger: Cause for conflict?', Goodrich (JM) et al., 2012), the document about the effect of Aldrich footsnares had a result in that biologists seem to be more reluctant to use them. 

In the last decade, many hundreds of photographs (referring to camera trap pics) have been published. The ones I saw (in the Amur tiger thread), suggests Amur tigers today show more variation than three decades ago. Although many think wild adult male Amur tigers only seldom exceed 450 pounds (the heaviest actually weighed in the last decade was a shortish young adult male of 468 pounds), one of our members with access to good information ('Betty') saw a video about a male of 575 pounds (260,82 kg) recently captured in northeastern China. That tiger was weighed by a biologist. I read more reports about large male Amur tigers I consider reliable. Apart from that, there was a discussion about the heel width of tigers (in this thread) not so long ago. The conclusion was males with a heel width of 13 cm and over most probably (well) exceed 550 pounds (249,48 kg) in good conditions. 

There have been clashes between male brown bears and male Amur tigers in the previous century, but not in the last 29 years (1992-2021). Before the Siberian Tiger Project started in 1992 most (Russian) biologists thought male bears would win 'on points', but the information I collected when I started posting suggests it was a very close call. In the last decade, opinions about tigers and bears seem to have changed somewhat. 

The main reason is research. Although some of those interested in bears maintain most bears hunted by tigers are immature animals 'ambushed' by experienced male tigers only, recent information leaves no doubt as to the age and size of (some of) the bears killed. Adult brown bears, up to the size of 'the largest and healthiest females' (from a mail of L. Kerley), have been found more than once by biologists. This fits reliable information about the habits of tigers in southern Asia. Although as opportunistic as other big cats in times of need, tigers, and adult males in particular, often select large animals in 'normal' conditions. They need to in order to prevent energy deficits, especially in regions with tough conditions like the Russian Far East. 

In this respect, tigers, at least in that region, seem to do better than wolves. This could be a deciding factor in the department of distribution. Wolves, and bears (referring to their habit to hibernate and to visit tiger kills whenever possible), seem to struggle in regions with tough living conditions that have tigers. Seasonal energy deficits could be the main reason, but tigers also hunt competitors. In the Russian Far East, wolves and female brown bears with cubs often leave districts that have tigers. For tigers, there's no need to target male brown bears to achieve that goal. Hunting females with cubs is as effective, if not more so (male bears approach females in the mating season, not the other way round). 

Although experienced male Ussuri brown bears and Amur tigers seem to avoid each other, they might target vulnarable individuals every now and then. In this way, as some biologists suggested, 'problem' animals are removed. This means (aggressive) young adults, individuals affected by injuries and disease and animals affected by old age should be the usual victims. What I read, suggests this seems to be the case.          

There are two confirmed reports about male tigers killed by brown bears. One of them was a young adult male killed by a 'very large' male brown bear after a prolonged struggle. There is no information about the second incident. This, however, was more than enough 'evidence' for those interested in bears. 

Mazak ('Der Tiger', 1983) mentions 3 male brown bears killed by male tigers. In the summer of 1943 (pp. 189), near the Sungari River, a 'very large male brown bear' was killed and eaten by a very large male tiger. In the spring of 1951 (pp. 91), on the bank of the Tatibe River, a brown bear was killed by a tigress. Another large male brown bear (pp. 79) was killed in the southern part of Sichote-Alin in the winter of 1958-1959. If we add the 'large' brown bear mentioned by Rakov, the final result is 4 male brown bears killed by tigers. 

There's no doubt about the male brown bears killed in 1943 and in the 1958-1959 winter, but there were questions about the bear mentioned by Rakov. The discussion about this incident was quickly concluded because of a lack of information. The lengthy discussion about the bear killed in the spring of 1951 also didn't produce a result. In the third edition of his book published in 1983, Mazak wrote the bear was 'fully adult', but that's it. In 'Die Saugetiere der Sowjetunion' (V.G. Heptner and A.A. Sludskij, Band III, German translation, Jena, 1980), the incident is discussed as well. Although Heptner and Sludskij offer a bit more, it isn't clear if the bear was a male or a female. Based on the description of Mazak and the details mentioned in 'Die Säugetiere der Sowjetunion' (pp. 144 and 149), it's likely the brown bear, " ... Körperlänge 158 cm, Gewicht etwa 170 kg ... " (pp. 149) was an adult female. It could, however, have been an immature male. Brown bears often lose 20-30% of their autumn weight during hibernation. This means the bear, 'about' 170 kg when it was killed in early May 1951, most probably exceeded 200 kg in late autumn.

Authorities never refer to the incidents mentioned above. Mazak isn't considered as a 'primary source' (he wrote about incidents described by others) and Rakov didn't offer any details. And what about the 'primary' sources? Well, Jankowski (referring to the incident that happened in 1943) wasn't a biologist, but a hunter. The bear killed in 1951 is accepted, but Bromlej didn't say anything about the gender of the bear killed by the tigress. That leaves the " ... large, old male brown bear ... " (Mazak, pp. 79) killed in the 1958-1959 winter. The biologist who reported about this incident (K.G. Abramov) died well before his time. Meaning he didn't publish about the incident. Mazak knew about it, because he read his notes. In the list of references, he wrote: " ... Abramov, K.G. (1961): Unpublished notes placed at the author's disposal by Mrs. M.V. Abramova in 1966 ... " (Mazak, 1983, pp. 217).     
Meaning not one of the incidents mentioned above met the threshold. While those saying there are no confirmed reports about adult male brown bears killed by male tigers have a point, there's also no doubt four large brown bears have been killed by male tigers in the recent past. At least two of them were males. The bear killed in the 1958-1959 winter was described as a 'large, old male', whereas the bear killed in 1943 was described as a " ... very large male ..., of which only a leg and the skull remained, which were found by Jankowski ... " (Mazak, 1983, pp. 189).     

What I'm saying is the tendency to apply preconceived ideas during discussions about (the outcome of) clashes between males has prevented a healthy debate so far. My guess is (referring to both emails discussed above) this will not change any time soon. In spite of that, our aim is to close the gap. I don't think it's superfluous to add that the attempt to get to a good conclusion will not be affected by preconceived ideas, preference and dismissals (again referring to both emails discussed above). The only deciding factor is good information (information based on research). If a debate is necessary, a mod will make sure it will be decided by reason and logic. Unsound arguments will be removed, no matter what.     

e - Conclusions

Our planet, although far from small, seems to get more crowded every year. The main reason is the growing number of humans. All of us want room to live. If we get it our way, the natural world will disappear right in front of our eyes. The first to suffer are large predators. 

Lev Kaplanov wasn't the last to hear the call of wild Amur tigers, but he knew it was close in the thirties of the last century. He was one of the few who acted. It cost him his life, but his efforts resulted in a change. It was to be a lasting change. The Russians are still heavily involved in serious conservation. The result is wild Amur tigers, about 600 of them, are still with us. It's one of the achievements of the century. 

In the nineties of the last century, change was in the air in China as well. Today, conservation seems to be topping the list. Most of us don't know, but a lot of progress has been made in the last two decades. The attitude towards conservation has changed, new reserves have been created, thousands of cameras have been installed, problems are addressed and solved and many documents about interesting new projects have been published. The result is northeastern China has about 50 wild Amur tigers today. 

These 600 Amur tigers share their habitat with thousands of Himalayan black bears and Ussuri brown bears. We know they co-exist, but we don't know in what way they interact. In order to get to more knowledge, research is needed and that's exactly what's happening today. At least, in that region. In most other regions, it's a very different story.   

Although the destruction of the natural world and the terrible consequences now get more attention than a decade ago, conservation still has little priority. For most politicians, news agencies and newspapers, conservation compares to an old train serving a few small communities in a rural region. They know they have to write about that train every now and then, but it has no political value. Most politicians still think people are only interested in the economy, sports and entertainment. 

This is why forums offering information about wild animals in general and large carnivores in particular serve a purpose. Wildfact now has well over a million views a month, not seldom substantially more. This means many people are interested in good information about the natural world. For them, conservation is an important issue. It also means those involved in forums have to be aware of this need and act accordingly.       

f - Two great photographs 

The two photographs at the bottom were first posted by 'Apex Titan' in the Amur tiger thread. It shows a big male brown bear and a big male tiger hugging the same tree somewhere in the Anuisky National Park. What I read (referring to the comment added by the one responsible for the camera traps), suggest these two know each other quite well. They use the same trails and the same tree to exchange information. 

Before showing the picture (bottom), I decided to add another to show you the size these animals can reach. Although the woman is positioned at the lower side of the tree, it's clear the tiger is a very large animal:  

*This image is copyright of its original author

The tiger in the picture below, known as 'The Beast' and one of the largest known these days, seems to compare for length, but has a more developed neck and a more robust skull. 

The brown bear, a bit closer to the tree, is a bit bulkier in all respects, but the difference in the circumference of the upper arm, the fore-arm, the neck and the skull seems to be limited. In head and body length, the tiger seems to have the edge, but there's little to choose between both:  

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 10-14-2021, 11:08 PM by Apex Titan )

Before I post the 2nd part of my series on Amur tiger predation on bears, I wanna address an issue and make something clear for the general public who reads my posts on tigers and bears.

It clearly seems that bear posters, instead of putting their emotions, bias and preference to one side and carefully reading and assessing the information, evidence and accounts I post, would rather just focus on me (politics) being 'Mountain Lord', who in their mind, is the "enemy" of Bear fans. By doing this, bear posters ignorantly dismiss and ignore the information and evidence I post, although its solely based on research and observations from many renowned biologists, zoologists, specialists and researchers. - 100% authentic information.

Peter invited me on this thread to inform the public about tigers and bears, post facts (not my opinion) and good, reliable information. And thats exactly what I did and he appreciated the info. I provided all the links, sources, references and screen-shots, so everyone can directly access the info and see if I'm posting "misinformation". And am I? Far from it.

Bear posters, including the administrator of 'Domain of the Bears', were welcome to come and have a fruitful debate with me on this thread. If you think that I'm posting "false" or "incorrect" information, you easily had the opportunity to come try and refute it. The doors were open. But no, instead of doing this, the administrator of a bear forum & former mod of Wildfact would rather make lame excuses, spout false accusations and complain about the evidence and accounts I'm posting on a forum full of other bear supporters. Why? Is it because you know you can't refute my evidence & information? By acting this way, you indirectly acknowledge that my information is irrefutable and factual.

I noticed the same thing on Carnivora forum. When I was always posting evidence, data and accounts to back up my claims & opinions, bear posters were constantly just spewing their mere opinions, theories, assumptions and speculations. i.e. Mostly going off pure guesswork and following their own conjecture. In a court of law, you need evidence and reliable testimonies, not made-up theories, speculations and opinions. And this is exactly what bear enthusiasts (especially the administrator of Domain of the Bears) do all the time. In a professional debate, this would never be taken seriously.

I deal with facts and evidence, not baseless opinions and guesswork. But the people who only deal with opinions, slandering, guesswork and conjecture, want to attack and ignorantly dismiss people (Including expert authorities like Batalov) who deal with factual information and post evidence. Where's the sense and logic in this? 

Although vast majority of expert opinions and testimonies favor the tiger over a large male brown bear in a fight, and although all the fight statistics, reports & testimonies from experienced Russian hunters, naturalists and locals prove that the tiger wins most fights against brown bears, still, the administrator of the bear forum states that an adult male Ussuri brown bear would defeat an adult male tiger in 19 out of 20 fights, which is completely illogical and nonsensical. Nor does the administrator have any shred of evidence that even implies such a ridiculous outcome, let alone proves it. And yet, he has the nerve and audacity to call me a "juvenile tiger fanboy", when he's the one constantly spouting his baseless opinions, empty claims, and deliberately ignores evidence, whereas I'm the one always posting quality information, evidence and reports from leading experts, zoologists & researchers. Now where's the comparison?

Evidence, truth and facts will always overcome opinions, made-up theories, ignorance and lies.

Now to a former mod of Wildfact. (new member of Domain of the Bears) In our discussion on tigers and bears (previous pages), while I posted reliable accounts and evidence to back up my statements, all you did is constantly speculate, make big empty claims and state your opinions. To the point of accusing highly respected authorities like Batalov of "making up stories" to attract attention. And then on 'Domain of the Bears' forum, you had the nerve to call me a "fanatic", slander me and falsely accuse me of deliberately trying to spread "misinformation". Again, where's the logic and sense in this? How does opinions, slandering, lame excuses and speculations beat irrefutable evidence and authentic information from biologists & researchers?

Then you have the recently banned member (King Kodiak) from 'Domain of the Bears', who outright insults, demeans and says extremely vile things about tigers. I'm not gonna repeat the sick things he's stated, but you can go to that forum and read some of his posts, and you'll see what I'm talking about. And this same person has the audacity to accuse me of posting "pure misinformation" when my information is all research based, very credible and reliable. (Info from experts).... Unbelievable.

Now to address another issue....

When I say 'tigers dominate bears', some people, especially bear posters, automatically assume that I think (and implying) that "tigers completely dominate adult male brown bears" or "tigers regularly hunt and kill adult male brown bears", which is a false assumption and complete misrepresentation of my position. When I say 'tigers dominate bears' I mean AS A SPECIES, the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) dominates the Ussuri brown bear (Ursus arctos lasiotus). Is tigers dominating brown bears just my opinion? No, its a fact. How?....

The Amur tiger is the dominant carnivore and apex predator in the ecosystem of the Ussuri taiga

Amur tigers are at the top of the food-chain, not the brown bear. The tiger is the one who deliberately seeks out to kill and eat the brown bear, not the other way around. The tiger is the predator, the brown bear is the prey. Adult male brown bears do not represent or make up the entire subspecies of Ursus arctos lasiotus. There's adult female brown bears, young adults, juveniles and cubs, all of which fall victim to tiger predation. Adult male brown bears only represent one specific gender & age class, not the entire species. However, there is reliable evidence that suggests that adult male brown bears maybe taken by tigers every now and then. (I will post soon)

So the fact that most individuals of the Ussuri brown bear subspecies (large adult females, young adults, juveniles & cubs) are hunted and eaten by tigers, and the fact that tiger predation is the main natural cause of brown bear mortality, (Pikunov, Seryodkin), and the fact that recent research & observations (2015-2021) from Russian specialists has confirmed that even young, juvenile tigers also hunt both brown bears and Himalayan black bears, clearly shows that the Amur tiger is the dominant carnivore.

Due to predation on bears and position in the food-chain, the tiger, as a species, dominates the Ussuri brown bear. This is an undeniable fact.

What is an apex predator? An apex predator is an alpha predator that dominates the food-chain, without any natural predators. And this is exactly what tigers are throughout their entire range in the wild, an alpha predator at the pinnacle of the food-chain that regulates prey populations and often kills and eats other carnivores to remove competitors. Tigers prey on bears throughout their range, and especially in the Russian Far East, bears regularly fall victim to tigers. This is clear dominance. If this isn't dominance, then what is?

The Ussuri brown bear is not an apex predator, its an omnivorous predator and prey animal of the Siberian tiger. The tiger, as many biologists note, is the main natural enemy and predator of brown bears in the Far Eastern taiga. - Primorye & Khabarovsk regions.

Tigers regulate the number of bears & other predators

Reliable sources, scientific research & observations from Russia and Northeast China, clearly indicates that Amur tigers affect bear populations and regulate the number of brown bears. Is this my opinion? No, its based on research and observations from experts, not tiger fanboys. Again, this is clear dominance.

In addition, Sergey Aramilev recently stated that tigers regulate the number of bears, wolves and other predators that they predate on. This is dominance from the tiger, being the apex predator.

You can easily find many sources referring to North American brown & Grizzly bears as "apex predators", but you won't find any sources or scientific publications that refer to the Ussuri/Amur brown bear as an "apex predator", why? because the Ussuri brown bear is scientifically classified as prey of the Amur tiger, as stated in numerous scientific articles, studies and journals. In fact, this is common knowledge. Brown bears, including large mature females and young adult males, are on the tigers menu.

Throughout most of the brown bears range in the wild, the only other apex predators they co-exist with are cougars or wolves. But these predators are much smaller and weaker than the brown bear, which makes the bear able to dominate them in many interactions. But in the Russian Far East, the brown bear faces a far more serious problem and threat, they co-exist with Amur tigers, which are very large apex predators that are similar in size to the brown bear. In fact, some large male tigers can be bigger and heavier than some adult male brown bears.

This is a whole different story and problem for the brown bear, because now the bear is faced with a similar-sized predator that actively hunts and eats bears. While an apex predator like the cougar lacks the size, strength and weaponry to attack and kill a large adult brown bear, the tiger possesses all the size, power, weaponry and capabilities to do so. Hence why the Ussuri brown bear is faced with much greater danger and threat.

It clearly seems that some people (referring to the administrator of Domain of the Bears, Pablo & former moderator of Wildfact) can't handle the fact that such a large, powerful carnivore like the brown bear, which is at the top of the food-chain in Europe, North America, Alaska & Canada, gets dominated (as a species) and regularly killed and eaten by another carnivore. But this is not my opinion, its reality and facts of nature. - I posted plenty of hard evidence.

Even when brown bears usurp tiger kills, if you actually assess the data, you'll see that in vast majority of cases, the bear scavenges the tigers left-overs, after the tigers already gone. Wild boars and other scavengers do the same thing. Even large male brown bears only occasionally contest female tigers for kills, this is not a common occurrence. Numerous scientific research shows that even the largest male brown bears avoid contesting male tigers for their kills. Adult males of both species, as evidence suggests, usually avoid serious conflicts with each other.

So I suggest bear posters to stop focusing on the politics, put your emotions to one side, clear your mind and actually read and assess the information and evidence I'm posting on this thread about tigers and bears, because its all based on observations, experiences and research from Russian authorities, biologists and specialists. 

Its not my fault that tigers hunt and kill brown bears, its not my fault that tigers reduce brown bear populations in some regions, its not my fault that tigers kill and eat large bears, and its not my fault that brown bears suffer from tigers in the Russian Far East. This is not my opinion, assumptions and theories....these statements are factual based on solid research and observations.

My series on tigers and bears is to inform the general public and viewers about this topic. So people can learn the facts about tiger predation & interactions with bears, how and when do tigers kill bears, what type of bears do tigers hunt, how often do tigers hunt bears etc etc....Meaning informative posts.

Fanboys who deliberately try and spread "misinformation" only post empty statements, baseless claims and fake accounts. Not a whole landslide of good, authentic information, scientific studies, data, accounts and reports from various major experts, biologists, zoologists & researchers, like I've always done.

And "anonymous user" (I know exactly who you are) if you can't handle the facts and evidence, then thats not my problem. My job is to post good quality information and thats what I'm doing.
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Netherlands peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 10-02-2021, 07:55 AM by peter )


a - Introduction

About half a year ago, 'Apex Titan' joined Wildfact. His posts in 'Carnivora' and, later, this forum (referring to his contributions in the thread 'Amur tigers') caught the attention of those interested in interactions between tigers and bears in the Russian Far East. After a few posts, I invited him to continue in this thread. The condition was good information. He accepted the invitation and kept his promise. 

Unfortunately, opinions about 'good information' differ quite a bit. A former member of Wildfact (and 'Domain of the Bears') decided for a complaint. After addressing the criticism (see my last post in this thread), my proposal was to move on. 

Our member 'Apex Titan', however, wanted to respond to the accusations himself. I agreed he should have the opportunity to do so, provided he would stay away from remarks that could result in animosity. 

Although he succeeded, it wasn't quite what I had in mind. In spite of that, I decided against editing his post. In the end, it seemed better to respond in this way. 

b - The quest of 'Apex Titan' 

For most of us, the Russian Far East is a remote, largely empty and unknown region. It's wild country, that still has large, pristine forests and animals like tigers, Ussuri brown bears, Himalayan black bears and wolves. In spite of the great efforts of quite a few Russian naturalists, hunters and biologists, not much is known about the way these animals interact.  

In 1992, the Siberian Tiger Project started. In spite of the very informative publications, the veil covering tigers and bears still is all but untouched. This is the main reason those interested in tigers and bears still disagree about the answers to questions often asked. 

Our member 'Apex Titan' is one of those interested in the way tigers and bears interact. In contrast to most others, he invested time. When he thought he had enough to get to a few conclusions, he decided to inform us about the results of his quest.  

The information he found strongly suggests tigers top the food chain in the Russian Far East. In some regions and seasons, bears constitute a significant part of the diet of tigers. Those who know, concluded experienced bear 'specialists', like Baikov said a century ago, hunt bears of 'almost up to their own size'. In an email posted in one of the threads of the former AVA forum, Linda Kerley said tigers hunt brown bears up to the size of the 'healthiest and largest' females. In some regions, the pressure on female brown bears with cubs is so heavy they leave districts populated by bear 'specialists'.

Although 'Apex Titan' found quite a bit of information about the way male Amur tigers and male Ussuri brown bears interact, he, as promised when he accepted the invitation to post about tigers and bears in this thread, stayed away from opinions. Everything he posted is based on reliable information collected in the last fifty years or thereabout. It isn't the result of selection at the gate, that is. It also isn't a result of preference. 

In my opinion, his efforts deserve a bit of respect. Most unfortunately, his quest resulted in quite the opposite. The 'anonymous' user complaining about the alleged preference of 'Apex Titan' isn't the only one who dismissed him. One of the mods of 'Domain of the Bears' also concluded Apex still was no different from the one banned for posting misinformation some years ago. That's still without qualifications of an insultive nature of other members of that forum. A pity.

c - About male Amur tigers and male Ussuri brown bears

Information collected by biologists in the last three decades more or less confirms what was known before the Siberian Tiger Project started: Some Amur tigers, and males in particular, learned to hunt Himalayan black bears and Ussuri brown bears up to the size of an adult female, but even bear 'specialists' seem to avoid adult male brown bears. Male brown bears at times follow and rob tigresses with cubs, but they avoid male tigers. 

Adult male brown bears and adult male Amur tigers compare for (head and body) length, but male bears are more robust and heavier. The difference, however, is limited. Even Krechmar stated there's little to choose between an adult male tiger and an adult male brown bear. He favoured the bear in a struggle, but recent photographs suggest male tigers could be a bit more robust that we thought. 

In the departments that matter, most male tigers and brown bears almost compare. Male bears have slightly larger and heavier skulls, but male tigers also have a relatively large skull. Apart from that, they have a very wide rostrum to accomodate the longest and heaviest upper canines of all big cats. Same for necks and forelimbs. Bears top the list, but male tigers are not a mile away.      

The conclusion is adult male brown bears are bigger at the level of averages, but the difference is limited. Large bears are faster and more agile than many think, but it's likely the cat has the edge in these departments. If we add he has the forelimbs to pin a large opponent long enough to use his teeth, one could conclude the outcome of a serious conflict would be close to unpredictable. Very large male bears (exceeding, say, 800 pounds) have a serious advantage, but individuals well exceeding an average male tiger are few and far between. Furthermore, individual variation in male tigers seems to be more pronounced than a few decades ago. Some males no doubt surpass the weight of an average male brown bear in early spring. 

As to the remarks about individual variation and robustness in male Amur tigers today. Here's a few pictures illustrating the points made. All photographs were first posted by 'Apex Titan' in the Amur tiger thread. Watch the (relative) size of the skull and the neck:  

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

There's a video of male tiger known as 'Elvis' in that thread as well. To say he's a robust tiger would be quite an understatement. Today, most captive Amur tigers are long and tall. In the sixties and seventies of the last century, however, they were very robust. Most of them were direct descendents of wild Amur tigers.  

d - To conclude

Tigers and bears have lived in close proximity for thousands of years in the Russian Far East. In spite of the information collected by Russian naturalists, hunters and biologists in the recent past and those involved in the Siberian Tiger Project in the period 1992-2021, the veil covering both species is all but untouched. In order to get to a few answers to questions discussed for years, we need to sideline preference, strong convictions, dismissals and insults. The only way to get to reliable conclusions is to focus on information collected by those who know.  

And this, I think, is what 'Apex Titan' was saying in his last post. 

Time to move on.
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Matias Offline
Regular Member

This debate focused on the ability of tigers to prey on bears in the Russian Far East has produced enough elements to “encourage” there to be a purported big cat determinism about bears of both species. The justifications that move this conflict were dimensioned on Rochelle's appeal for help, in the notorious Ochkarik case on Chlamid, denoting that there is an emotional and justifying appeal, when feeling threatened; not directly witnessed. Could Chlamid have been killed by both tigers? Or not? Conjecturing possibilities is all @peter doesn't want, so the best points have been given and each, from their perspective of understanding, makes their conclusion. I've read @Apex Titan  latest posts and also see all of it framing it from factual perspectives, whether or not acceptable to some, but they are factual.

Tigers slaughter their competitors and, in some cases, eat them. Whether for symbolism of power, driving away competitors or just to satisfy hunger. The ecological conditions in the Russian Far East is a predictor of conflicts over dominance, food, territory, by different species that have very close ecological functions. Bears are notorious opportunists and carcass sniffers, as well as predator followers in search of the remains of prey. Many pathogens afflict their hosts and affect their health conditions. Some to the point of withering to death, others have their physical abilities impaired, as a result, they start collecting carcasses. Barring a desperate situation, predators are not likely to get involved in conflicts that could result in their death, so there are many unmeasurable factors about what motivated tiger A or B to engage in a clash with unpredictable consequences with any grizzly bear great. Therefore, we should not generalize that all adult male Amur tigers play a predominant role over Ussuri grizzly bears. Each case is different and the devil is in the details, as the details from the behavioral and situational point of view (ecological situation and survival challenges) of both predators under unknown stress factors, produce a predation story that, however experience and logical deduction that Mr. Batalov has, possibly it will be very difficult to know how to measure the correct dosimetry of the natural forces that for thousands of years made these two species cohabitate to survive sharing this vast region, regardless of the bear having greater possibilities as an omnivore and being more predisposed to get food.

Let's let the balance prevail in this debate, there are no winners or losers.

I hardly get involved in these debates, I always prefer to focus on the knowledge that these interactions produce, as knowing the likely winner in a fight between different species will not produce far-reaching practical knowledge, a high dose of sensationalism. I don't think there are many scientists involved in tiger and bear conservation who care about the power of the tiger over the bear or vice versa. “There is nothing more important than the conservation of habitat and wildlife, so, as conscientious citizens, we have an important role in spreading the values of preserving and conserving our natural world, a commitment to everything that involves maintaining our natural wealth”.

With over 2500 posts the Tiger's thread has very good material and unfortunately this long material goes unnoticed by those who haven't followed it over time. The tiger is the number one animal in fundraising for its conservation, hence more than a million views here. As charismatic as it is enigmatic. "The predation of adult Indian rhinos is a reminder of the animal's power and possibilities to overcome obstacles."

Can a forum titled "Domain of the Bears" produce information that takes them off the top?

Sorry Peter, I couldn't resist giving an opinion.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 10-14-2021, 10:53 PM by Apex Titan )


Based on everything I've read over the years, about a century's worth of reliable information, indicates that most Amur tigers kill and eat bears. While some tigers hunt bears occasionally, other tigers hunt bears very frequently, and some tigers habitually hunt bears and prefer killing and eating bears over ungulate prey. Large bears are also taken by tigers. This info will be posted in my next post on tiger predation on bears in the Russian far east.

Although Indo-chinese tigers regularly (in some areas) hunt both sun bears and Asiatic black bears & Bengal tigers hunt and kill sloth bears, especially in reserves like Panna, Amur tigers, for some reason, are by far the most active bear hunters. This is interesting because the Amur tiger co-exists with the larger species of bears - Brown bears and Ussuri/Himalayan black bears. Based on several reliable sources I've read, Himalayan black bears from the Russian Far East seem to be the largest of the Asiatic black bear subspecies in the world. Although there are reliable reports of very large Himalayan black bears from southern Asia too. Adult males of Himalayan black bears are frequently killed by tigers. In the Khekhtsir reserve, especially in summer, male tigers, when hunting brown bears, more often hunted large adult brown bears. (Based on observations of Tkachenko)

Why tigers choose to regularly prey on another large carnivore is any ones guess. Why some tigers prefer hunting and eating bears over ungulate prey (wild boars, red deer etc) is again any ones guess. I can only assume that bear meat is probably very tasty, juicy and rich to tigers. Tigers are also known to attack and kill bears solely on principle, which is also the tigers way of establishing its dominance over other carnivores in its habitat. - Apex predator role.

Recent reports from Russian specialists has confirmed that even tigresses are far more active at bear-hunting than some people assume. The young tigress 'Elena' recently (2020) killed and ate a bear, the juvenile tigress named 'Phillipa' regularly hunted and killed Himalayan black bears in the six months she was being monitored by biologists and researchers. There's also the account of a tigress hunting and killing an adult female brown bear with cubs. (Kaplanov) And the tigress who killed and ate a heavier 170 kg adult brown bear. (Bromlei) Biologists and researchers like Linda Kerley and Sergey Alekseevich have both reported accounts of tigresses killing adult male black bears too.

Now just very recently in September, 2021 in the Durmin river basin, a tigress killed and ate a Himalayan black bear. Judging by the size and robustness of the claw, it looks like she killed an adult bear. Sergey Kolchin stated that with the African swine fever having severely reduced the wild boar herds in that area to practically zero, tigers are hunting and eating bears much more often.

This adult male Himalayan black bear instantly fled up a tree from a tiger:

"The crunch of a dry branch under my foot, and an adult male Himalayan bear, just calmly feeding on fallen acorns, instantly flew up the oak - the tigers are not asleep."

"Another confirmation of this is the excrement with the fur and claws of a medium-sized bear, recently left by a tigress in a forest clearing. A tigress is feeding two four-month-old tiger cubs. With the wild boar - the main food of the predator - nowadays the trouble: the African swine fever has mowed down its livestock practically to zero. This means that bears began to get "on the table" of tigers much more often."

*This image is copyright of its original author

Bear claw & remains in the tigress's scat:

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Guatemala GuateGojira Online
Expert & Researcher

(09-24-2021, 08:40 AM)peter Wrote: one of our members with access to good information ('Betty') saw a video about a male of 575 pounds (260,82 kg) recently captured in northeastern China.

Hello again Peter, can you please show me the information, post or document, showing the data of this great tiger?

This figure suggest that Amur tiger may be returning to its old glory.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 11-17-2021, 02:19 AM by Apex Titan )

(11-15-2021, 01:49 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(09-24-2021, 08:40 AM)peter Wrote: one of our members with access to good information ('Betty') saw a video about a male of 575 pounds (260,82 kg) recently captured in northeastern China.

Hello again Peter, can you please show me the information, post or document, showing the data of this great tiger?

This figure suggest that Amur tiger may be returning to its old glory.

Based on the recent camera trap photos and videos I've seen from the Russian Far East and Northeast China, I definitely think that wild Amur tigers are returning to their old glory. Some recently captured (on video/camera traps) adult male tigers from Russia/China look huge, healthy and very robust and powerful.

There is a huge male tiger from the Khabarovsk region, which Russian biologists call the "monster tiger", with a very large heel width that suggests he may be close to 300 kg in weight.

Recently, a young male Amur tiger aged 2-3 years old, weighing 225 kg (496 lbs) was captured in Northeast China. The tiger attacked a villager and smashed in a car window:

"Center officials said that the tiger was a healthy male around two or three years of age. It weighed 225 kilograms (about 496 pounds)."

"The wild tiger strayed into a village in Heilongjiang on April 23, injuring a local resident. It was captured and transferred to the animal breeding center for assessment. It was found to be a male, two to three years old and weighing approximately 225 kg."

Here's two more articles reporting that this young male tiger weighs 225 kg:

This tiger is only a adolescent male, and he already weighs 225 kg. Imagine when he's a full-grown prime male!
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 11-26-2021, 08:15 PM by Apex Titan )

The Amur Tiger Center just uploaded a new video, of an interview with CEO Sergey Aramilev, about who would win in a fight between a tiger or a bear:

For better English subtitles translation, you can also watch this video on their Facebook page:

(I'll paraphrase what he says to get better clarity for the readers, although I'm using some of his words and phrases he states in the interview)

Aramilev on tigers vs Himalayan black bears:

He states; big male Himalayan black bears can weigh up to 250 kg in weight, and is normal for them to weigh 200 kg. In principle, the Himalayan bear is a worthy opponent for a tiger, however, the tiger is a born killer and phenomenal predator, and nature created him to be this. The tiger is a lone animal and he hunts alone, and hunts quite diverse. Due to this fact, he states that the tiger is a more developed and smarter animal than the bear.

Bears on the other hand, are primitive (clumsy) hunters, he states, whereas the tiger has high intelligence. He notes, that all of this is related to hunting, the tigers body is prepared for murder and he is a complete predator. Although the Himalayan black bear does eat meat on occasion, he specializes in eating cones, berries and acorns etc.

However, he states that the Himalayan black bear is quite a physically developed animal and would seem to be a worthy opponent of the tiger. But conflicts show, in all known cases of fights between tigers and Himalayan black bears, the tiger always defeats the bear. The tiger, physically, has a clear advantage over the Himalayan black bear, he states.

He then mentions that some tigers specialize at hunting Himalayan bears, and tigers especially hunt bears in autumn, when bears have gained weight. Fat bears, is really "comfortable" food for tigers, he states. He also says, tigers know exactly where to get 'delicious' (bulked up) Himalayan black bears. Overall, for the tiger, the Himalayan black bear is a food object, he states.

He says, that in some cases, when the bear flee's up a tree, the tiger climbs up the tree and pulls the bear down. There are some unique cases, when the bear chooses a tree with soft wood (bark) to save its life, which is 20-30 centimeters in diameter, and the tiger slowly bites away at the bark of the tree, bringing the bear closer to him, the bear then eventually falls down with the tree, and the tiger kills it. He also notes that the tiger is more agile than a bear.

Aramilev on tigers vs brown bears:

He states; the brown bears of the Far East - Kamchatka and Ussuri brown bears are much larger than the European brown bears. In Primorye and Khabarovsk regions, a brown bear (Ussuri) weighing 500-600 kg is not considered to be rare. (The youtube subtitle translation says it is considered a rarity) He says that the Ussuri brown bear is a huge bear, and is more predatory than the Himalayan black bear.

The brown bear does not disdain hoofed animals, but its difficult for the brown bear to hunt them, he's not very fit (athletic), he states. He's not adapted to this diet. The brown bears diet consists of fish, berries, acorns and pine nuts. He says, of course the brown bear is not as perfect at hunting/killing as the tiger, but still, he is also a bit of a predator. The brown bear became a "herb-eating vegetarian", he states.

Tigers and brown bears of equal strength, usually avoid serious fights with each other. However, fights do sometimes occur at kill-sites, where both the tiger and bear have been victorious in some cases. These fights can often result in infected and inflamed wounds, which can lead to the death of both predators.

He says, the tigers huge canines, over 7 cm's each, penetrate deep into a bears flesh, and when the bears wound closes up, bacteria remains, inflammation happens, sepsis and even blood infection, which often leads to death. Infected wounds can also fatally affect tigers also, he states.

But overall, he says that the tiger is a more trained and accustomed killer. Every once in 10 days it kills big animals and does this every year. In his conclusion he says (the answer everyone's waiting for) therefore ....

"An adult male tiger will always kill any bear, but a tigress or young tiger can lose to a large male brown bear."

Unfortunately he didn't talk about tiger predation on brown bears.


1) Large male Himalayan black bears of the Russian Far East can weigh up to 250 kg, and 200 kg being a normal weight for them.

2) Tigers especially hunt Himalayan black bears in autumn, when bears have significantly gained weight. And considering the fact that scientific studies confirm that tigers readily prey on full-grown adult male black bears and hunt individuals of all ages and genders, this strongly indicates that tigers, who often kill adult bears, and mainly target bulked up bears in autumn, hunt and kill even huge male black bears weighing 190-250 kg. This also confirms what Baikov stated, that large tigers (which weigh well over 200 kg) hunt and kill bears of almost the same weight. (Bears well over 200 kg)

3) Only young tigers or tigresses can lose to a big male brown bear, but an adult male tiger will always kill any brown bear in a fight, no matter how big. Which means that Aramilev thinks that an adult male tiger will always kill even a giant 500-600 kg brown bear in a fight, due to the tiger being a far superior killer and complete predator.

4) A fight between a tiger and Himalayan black bear is a mismatch in favor of the tiger. In all known cases of fights, the tiger always kills the bear. Physically, the tiger has a clear advantage over any Himalayan black bear.

5) According to Aramilev, the tiger is a more developed and smarter animal than the bear.

6) The fact that tigers bite away at the soft bark of tree's, so the bear falls down, proves that tigers are highly intelligent animals.

7) Tigers and brown bears of equal strength, (referring to adult males of both species) usually avoid serious fights with each other. However, fights do sometimes occur at kill-sites, where both the tiger and bear have been victorious in some cases. These fights can often result in infected and inflamed wounds, which can lead to the death of both predators.
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Matias Offline
Regular Member

Shouldn't this paragraph be included in your conclusions? 

Quote:Tigers and brown bears of equal strength, usually avoid serious fights with each other. However, fights do sometimes occur at kill-sites, where both the tiger and bear have been victorious in some cases. These fights can often result in infected and inflamed wounds, which can lead to the death of both predators

About large brown bears (= or + 500Kg), it would be possible to conclude in the affirmative that:

Quote:But overall, he says that the tiger is a more trained and accustomed killer. Every once in 10 days it kills big animals and does this every year. In his conclusion he says (the answer everyone's waiting for) therefore ....

"An adult male tiger will always kill any bear, but a tigress or young tiger can lose to a large male brown bear."

Or just in general terms? 

Thank you for your search for facts that enrich the debate. What remains in my thinking about this is that a unique/definitive answer has not yet been found, because the victory of the adult male tiger over an adult brown bear (or usurri) cannot be made unambiguous.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 11-26-2021, 08:19 PM by Apex Titan )


Quote:Shouldn't this paragraph be included in your conclusions? 

Yes, thanks for reminding me. That slipped my mind. I'll add it to my conclusions.

Quote:Or just in general terms? 

He means in general, for the reasons explained by Aramilev, he strongly favours an adult male tiger over any brown bear (even the biggest bears) in a fight. According to him, the male tiger will always win this fight, due to being a natural born killer and far more skilled and accustomed predator.

Only young tigers or females can lose to a large male brown bear. But even in a fight against a young tiger or tigress, he only gives a slight edge to the big male brown bear.

Now, although I also strongly favour a male tiger over a very large male brown bear in a fight, I do not agree with Aramilev, that an adult male tiger will "always" kill a large male brown bear. A large brown bear weighing 400-600 kg is a very formidable opponent for any tiger, and the tiger will not "always" win this fight. A fight like this is extremely dangerous for both animals.

Kucherenko reported: only a 'very large' brown bear is capable of defeating a tiger in a fight. However, in fights between tigers and huge brown bears, the tiger is more often the winner:

*This image is copyright of its original author

This makes more sense. There's no doubt, that in some cases, a huge male brown bear (weighing 400-600 kg) will defeat a tiger in a fight, but according to the experts, the male tiger is the clear favorite in this fight and more often kills the big male bear.

Quote:Thank you for your search for facts that enrich the debate. What remains in my thinking about this is that a unique/definitive answer has not yet been found, because the victory of the adult male tiger over an adult brown bear (or usurri) cannot be made unambiguous.

I appreciate it.

To some extent, I see where your coming from.

All I can say is ....most experts, biologists and naturalists favor the tiger in a fight, all the fight statistics show that tigers win most fights against brown bears, in some statistics dominated the brown bear in fights (Rukovsky), experienced Russian hunters and locals also report that tigers win most fights against brown bears, and some expert testimonies indicate that male tigers usually defeat huge brown bears in fights.

Take from this, what you will.
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Netherlands peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 11-29-2021, 04:12 AM by peter )


Very interesting post. Good find (referring to the video) and many thanks for the summary.  

Sergey Aramilev, CEO of the Amur TIger Center, knows about the Russian Far East and the animals living in that region. He has access to good information and no doubt read everything of interest, including recent research. Another advantage is he has the opportunity to talk to people living in that region. I'm not only referring to locals who know about the forest, but also to rangers, hunters and biologists. Last but not least, he has the opportunity to go out there himself. When he offers an opinion on tigers and bears, we've no option but to listen. 

Your summary, as far as I can see, just about covers it. There are, however, two issues that could do with a bit more. One of these was addressed by Matias. There's another issue that needs to be discussed. I'm referring to the fysical and psychological differences between an average male tiger and an average male brown bear. 

Most of our readers know a few things about tigers and bears. They may have seen these animals in a zoo. If so, they would have noticed the remarkable differences between both. If a man, even one loaded with knowledge, would tell them an average adult male Amur tiger would be able to overcome an average adult male brown bear in a fight more often than not, chances are eyebrows would be frowned. If he adds even a large male brown bear, and 'large' in that region is large, wouldn't get the benefit of the doubt, a discussion would erupt. 

Aramilev addresses this issue in the video. He says confrontations between males of similar strength not seldom end in a stalemate or dispersal and adds there are exceptions to the general rule. Both have been killed in fights or perished as a result of an injury or an infection later. 

We (referring to members of forums) don't know about these incidents, because they were not documented. And those that were, lacked the details needed to get to conclusions. Aramilev, however, strongly suggests these incidents have occurred. 

Although the outcome of these incidents depend on countless factors we're not even aware of, Aramilev favours an adult male tiger more often than not, even if the male bear has a size advantage (referring to his remark about the presence of male brown bears exceeding 500 kg). 

His opinion seems to contradict his remark about the (hypothetical) outcome of a fight between males of similar strength. Explanation. Aramilev first says not a few confrontations between male tigers and male bears of similar strength result in dispersal. Later he says a male tiger is able to overcome even a male bear with a significant weight advantage. Those watching the video no doubt struggle with this conclusion, as it seems to contradict his first remark. I mean, if these decide against a fight, a male bear twice the weight of a male tiger would have a significant advantage. 

The question is if Aramilev is contradicting himself. The answer is it depends on the way you approach the issue. If size would be the only factor affecting the outcome of a fight between an adult male tiger and an adult male brown bear, the answer is affirmative. This, however, does not seem to be the case. Aramiliev clearly, and more than once, refers to other factors possibly affecting the outcome of a fight. 

Before discussing these factors, we perhaps need to address the size issue from a different perspective. Male brown bear in eastern Russia can exceed 500 kg at times. This means they're 2-3 times as heavy as an average male tiger. Case closed, one would think. But it's well known adult male tigers, in other regions of southern Asia, habitually target herbivores twice the weight of even a large male brown bear. Although not as agile as a bear, they definitely pose a risk. Tigers, however, routinely kill large animals in a very short period of time. As they gain experience, they often progress to larger animals like adult gaurs and rhinos. This development no doubt has a psychological effect over time. 

This to say tigers could have a different view about size than we have. It also means weight can't be considered as a deciding factor in the discussion about tigers and bears.    

That leaves factors like speed, agility, the ability to move efficiently, awareness and attitude (including aggression). Aramilev discusses some of them. One factor he mentioned more than once is experience. Most of us tend to overlook the real meaning of experience. 

Every adult wild big cat is a very able hunter and fighter. He only got there by killing other animals. Every time he attacks, the tiger takes a risk. If every wild male tiger would be examined after death, chances are most, if not all, of them would show severe injuries. Every now and then, a tiger is killed by one of his favourite prey animals, but those reaching adulthood (less than 30%) survived, learned and developed into a professional killer. At age 6, an average male tiger has killed at least 100 animals. Over time, he learned how and when to attack and what to do to overcome resistance as quickly as possible. This way of life resulted in an attitude needed to be able to just that time and again. Although the aggression needed to prevail in a fight is present, it doesn't mean a tiger is a mindless killing machine. Those who had the opportunity to work with captive tigers agree every adult tiger is foremost an observer, a thinking animal able to adapt to different conditions. 

If an adult male Amur tiger in his prime decides to avoid a direct confrontation with an adult male brown bear, it means the bear is a formidable opponent. If an animal like a male brown bear decides to avoid a direct confrontation with an adult male Amur tiger, it means the tiger is as formidable. This is the conclusion both male bears and male tigers got to over time.  

Those who slightly favour an adult male tiger in a bout, like Aramilev, admittedly have good reasons. My proposal is to have a closer look at them. You could consider discussing (some of) them in your summary, Apex. It will enable those interested to understand the position of men like Aramilev.    

One more thing. Aramilev's opinion and the arguments he uses are interesting. They also carry quite a bit of weight. In spite of that, it has to be added that opinions of those considered to be in the know (referring to the countless naturalists, hunters and biologists discussed in this thread) differ quite a bit. Members of forums are not the only ones unable to get to a conclusion about tigers and bears, so it seems. 

I agree, by the way, with Matias, who said your contributions in this department are interesting. Please continue, as they're appreciated by many.   


Many thanks for the comments. Most unfortunately, our members seemed to have missed your hint about 'Chlamyda', 'Rochelle' and 'Ochkarik' (referring to your remark about both tigers cooperating to get rid of the insatiable giant). A bit disappointing, as it is well known a male tiger and a tigress occasionally hunt together. There is, in fact, a quite recent article about tiger 'Borya' and a female hunting bears together. A joint venture is an option that can't be left out of the equasion. 

I tend to agree with your conclusion about tigers and bears. The RFE is a large region, meaning it's all but impossible to even speculate about the outcome of interactions between tigers and bears. In spite of that, a lot of research has been conducted.  

What we know is that tigers consider both Himalayan black bears (including adult males) and Ussuri brown bears (up to the size of healthy adult females) as an important, albeit often seasonal, source of food. If an experienced male tiger would be interested in a male brown bear, chances are it wouldn't take him a lot of time to find one. Not happening, say biologists. 

While male brown bears would struggle to find a male tiger, they don't really need to. Bears, to put it mildly, are quite food-orientated. This means they are interested in tiger kills. As they have a great nose, one would expect them to displace male tigers whenever it suits them. Not happening, biologists say.  

The conclusion is male tigers and male brown bears don't want to meet each other. A result of a decision? Very likely. Male tigers interested in bears select youngsters and (adult) females. Male brown bears interested in tiger kills only visit kills of young adults and females.  

Good news for those interested in discussions about the outcome of a hypothetical bout between males of similar size, but hypothetical seems to be the keyword. As far as I know, biologists never found a male brown bear killed by a male tiger (or the other way round) in the period 1992-2021. This although there have been a few 'hungry' years in that period.


I don't think there's much to add to what was discussed above. Wild male Amur tigers and wild male brown bear avoid each other, even in 'hungry' years. It's more than likely, as Aramilev suggested, there have been a few incidents not mentioned in books or articles, but these seem to be few and far between. The outcome of these engagements wasn't surprising: the most common victims were vulnarable individuals (young adults and tigers and bears affected by disease, injuries, starvation and/or old age). 

As to captive Amur tigers and brown bears. Amur tigers have co-existed with bears for a long time. So long, it shows in (the attitude of) most adult tigers (males and females). What I saw when both were able to see or hear each other (referring to one zoo and two facilities), was focus and aggression in most male Amur tigers and fear in most male bears. The trainers I interviewed never mixed male Amur tigers and male brown bears. Tigers always fight on their own, but it seems to be different when a bear is involved. I've heard of more than one exception in this respect. 

A trainer interviewed by a member of AVA, didn't doubt the outcome of a wrestling match between his 600-pound male grizzly and his 500-pound male Amur tigers, but added an attack from behind would result in a dead bear. I don't think he got that from a book. All trainers I interviewed only referred to their own experience.  

Beatty, however, wrote his big male Russian bear often suffered during exchanges with his Amur tigresses. He needed a big advantage to kill one of them when she, as a result of a mistake of a cagehand, fell off a pedestal right in front of the bear. The bear used the opportunity to get hold of her neck and didn't let go. Remarkable, as bears tend to bite multiple times when they attack. Beatty thought he would have been a 'goner' if he would have used that strategy with tigress 'Lil', but later changed his opinion about tigers and bears. That was after his brown bear 'Doris' (a female) had killed two tigers in seperate incidents. He omitted to add 'Doris' was as large as they come (at least twice as heavy as the male tiger she killed in self defence).

One more remark about male brown bears (allegedly) displacing male tigers from their kills without a fight (which could result in incorrect conclusions), to finish the post wouldn't be out of place. 

An animal killed and eaten by a male tiger shows very distinctive marks. Same for an animal killed and eaten by a brown bear. Those following the prints in the snow or the signals transmitted by the collar have been trained. They know their business. If they are unable to get to a clear conclusion, they say so (read the documents written by those involved in determining kills made by tigers). In the most recent study, not a single kill of a male tiger was confiscated by a male brown bear. Male brown bears and large male Himalayan black bears occasionallky displace young adult tigers and adult females, not adult male tigers. 

Biologists know if a kill changed hands and are able to figure out what happened. Read the story of a Canadian biologist who found tiger tracks near a dead bear. The bear had been killed and buried by another bear. The tiger found the kill and used it.
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Matias Offline
Regular Member

@Apex Titan 

I come to add an understanding to your good arguments and material on Mr. Aramilev's thinking. I will carefully read the link provided to Mr. Kucherenko's book - Predatory animals of the forest.

His observations are fully valid and I consider them important in this entire context. We are building a point and not a counterpoint.

Given everything we already have, conclusions are pretty clear. There is no need to put us on a fully balanced scale. In fact, the differences are small.

Mr. Aramilev's video was important in building this understanding, it is the opinion of a professional involved in conservation and we must consider all the points. What he said does not contradict what I think, and it further strengthened what I find useful on the subject. I believe that what we already have here is enough for everyone to form an opinion on it. That's not to say we don't want to get new points about this dynamic among predators.



I can't agree with you more!

His observations were very consistent, with the right balance dose. I thought of separating some parts of what you said, but your ideas were very clear, building formidable points, making it unnecessary to round out what has already been said well.

I also see some of Mr. Aramilev's contradictions (however relying on google translate for videos is foolhardy), so I may not literally understand sentence by sentence of the interview, but reading his points I see that I have read the video satisfactorily.

I believe that two or three questions to Mr. Aramilev could clarify the missing points in this discussion about this hypothetical combat.

To finish:

"It seems obvious to me that we cannot predict winners if both predators are at in your fullness of life and in excellent health conditions (male brown bear above 400 kg x adult male tiger). Injured, sick, malnourished animals, among other situations of vulnerability, are predation victims regardless of their body size, and as an intelligent predator, the tiger certainly makes a complete read of its opponent before any predatory action. That said, it may be the deciding factor that conjectures the prevalence of adult male tigers over adult male brown bears. In the minute 7 of the video he balances forces, "half beat the bears and half beat the tigers", later on he favors the tiger (I would suggest that the scientific part was focused on the balance between the two and personal preferences predispose the tiger to discretion of intelligence and agility - but that's it's just a personal perception I had about Mr. Aramilev's explanatory context)".

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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 11-30-2021, 05:28 AM by Apex Titan )


I agree with mostly everything you said about male brown bears and male tigers usually avoiding each other, your argument is consistent with modern scientific research. However, I think we should also consider some other factors. When biologists find the remains of brown bears killed and eaten by tigers, in most cases, they just find the remains in the tigers scat. No carcass. In many cases, sometimes the biologists can't even determine which species of bear was killed and eaten.

So, just say if a experienced male tiger occasionally (or rarely) hunts and kills an adult male brown bear, what are the chances of biologists finding the remains of the bear? A male brown bear could be killed and devoured by a tiger, and all the biologists will find is some brown bear remains (bone fragments, fur etc) in the tigers feces. They won't be able to determine which bear was killed. The STP (Chapter 19) study also reports a case of a brown bear killed and eaten by a tiger, where the researchers were unable to determine the bears gender or age.

Matyushkin (1992) found the remains of an adult brown bear killed by a tiger, but again, the gender of the bear was not specified. Maybe he couldn't determine the sex of the bear from the remains. But it shows, that many brown bears (including adults) have been killed and eaten by tigers, in which the gender was not known, or unable to determine. So its possible (and not out of the question) that in some of these cases, it could be adult male brown bears hunted and killed. Not all adult male brown bears are larger than a male tiger, some are smaller and lighter in weight, weighing only 180 - 200 kg.

Also, I've never seen a single biologist, researcher, zoologist or any scientific publication or study, that stated that adult male brown bears (including large males) are "immune" to tiger predation. In fact, I've only seen scientific sources state: "Tigers prey on adult brown bears.".... without excluding adult male brown bears.

Note, I posted a confirmed case (from a scientific study) of a tiger that hunted and killed a male brown bear of unknown age. Again, its possible, that this male bear was an adult male brown bear killed. Biologist, E.N. Smirnov also reported a case of a tiger persistently hunting down a 'large brown bear', which could have likely been a large male brown bear. There's also the other account I posted of a tiger hunting, attacking and badly mauling a 'huge brown bear'. All these accounts I posted on the previous pages of this thread.

Even a leading authority on Amur tigers, like Miquelle, had to change his opinion (previous assumptions) on tigers hunting bears. As more of his recent studies found that tigers regularly hunt and kill bears during the summer months.

STP project biologists (Seryodkin, Miquelle, Kerley etc) never found any cases during their entire study period, of juvenile tigers/tigresses hunting bears, but many recent reports from the Amur Tiger Center, has found and confirmed many cases of young, inexperienced immature tigers and tigresses actively hunting and killing bears, adult bears included. Which shows that even experienced biologists, are always learning more and more new unknown behaviour of tigers, that they didn't know even in 20+ years of studying them in the field.

Seryodkin, Miquelle etc ... are the same biologists that stated; only male tigers can afford to confront and eat bears regularly. But far more recent reports (2017-2021) clearly debunks this statement/assumption. Tigresses, including youngsters, actively hunt bears too, and far more frequently than 'Siberian Tiger Project' biologists previously thought. So, there's still some unanswered questions.

As to your proposal (remarks I should add to my summary), I only wanted to give a brief summary of what Aramilev stated in that video. I wasn't intending on going into details and giving a long explanation because I was saving that for another post I was going to do (I told you about) about male brown bear vs male tiger interactions, analysis based on evidence, where I will also compare their weaponry and skills. You also did a good job of explaining some of this stuff in your post.

Also, except for Krechmar, I haven't seen (nor heard) of a single biologist, zoologist, researcher or naturalist that favours the male brown bear in a fight. Honestly, not one. In addition to Aramilev, there's Yuri Dunishenko, Kucherenko, Rukovsky, Bazhenov, as well as most Russian naturalists and Russian hunters, that all favour the tiger, and report that the tiger is the usual winner in a fight against a brown bear. I think its important that we also acknowledge this fact.

From what I've seen, many forum posters (laymen) tend to favour and badly overrate size/weight advantages, and ignore the vital importance of killing skills, speed, agility and weaponry etc. Whereas most highly qualified and experienced experts, biologists and zoologists, tend to favour the animal with superior predatory skills, weaponry, agility and speed.

I also found it interesting that Aramilev stated that Himalayan black bears in the Ussuri region, can weigh up to 250 kg, which more or less confirms what I said, and the numerous sources I've read, that the Ussuri black bears are the largest subspecies of Asiatic black bears in the world. In general, their larger than their southern Asian counterparts. I'm gonna make a post discussing the size of bears hunted by tigers in the Russian Far East. With some pictures and videos of adult male Himalayan black bears and adult female Ussuri brown bears.


Just to add a bit extra....

Aramilev was interviewed on this subject last year by 'RUSSIA BEYOND'. Interestingly, not only does Aramilev strongly favour an adult male tiger over a very large male brown bear in a fight, but according to him, a fight between a very large male brown bear and tigress or small (young) tiger is an even fight, with only a slight edge to the bear. In a fight between two heavyweight rivals, (big male tiger vs big male brown bear) naturalists would back the tiger.

Russian zoologist, Timofey Bazhenov also stated, in a fight between a tiger and brown bear, as a rule, the tiger wins:

*This image is copyright of its original author
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Netherlands peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 12-17-2021, 12:30 PM by peter )


Interesting, balanced and well-written post. Agreed with all points made. 

It is a fact details about bears killed by tigers are often lacking. One could, as some prefer, conclude there's no solid proof adult male brown bears have been killed by Amur tigers and, for this reason, maintain they are out of the predatory reach of even large male Amur tigers, but there's way too much quite reliable information pointing in a different direction. 

I'm not only referring to the, admittedly inconclusive, information in, for example, 'Die Säugetiere der Sowjetunion' (V.G. Heptner and A.A. Sludskij, 1980) and 'Der Tiger' (V. Mazak, 1983), but to quite a few recent publications, books and articles. That's still without the interviews you mentioned. I'm referring to interviews with specialists (most of them biologists) loaded with knowledge and experience. 

The incidents in Mazak's book, by the way, are not based on unverified stories and hearsay, but on unpublished notes of an unknown Russian biologist (K.G. Abramov) and a letter (dated May 8, 1970) of an experienced Russian hunter (V. Jankowski). He saw both the tiger and the remains of the big male bear he killed a few days before he was shot.  

Tiger 'Ochkarik' 

Members of forums interested in tigers and bears in the Russian Far East often refer to the size of adult male Amur tigers and adult male Ussuri brown bears. Most of them, for reasons discussed in my previous post, think it would take quite a tiger to kill an adult male brown bear, but reliable information (referring to recent newspaper reports, articles, scientific publication and books) suggests this is not the case. 

Let's take the tiger A. Batalov knows quite well as an example. Tiger 'Ochkarik' was never weighed, but Batalov has weighed quite a few bears. If he says 'Ochkarik' ranges between 160-180 kg, we have to assume he's quite close. In at least two interviews, Batalov said this male tiger killed and completely ate the very large bear that tormented tigress 'Rochelle' for quite some time. This bear, called 'Chlamyda' on account of his size, was estimated at 350-400 kg, if not more. 

Although Batalov, as far as I know, didn't respond to the questions of our member 'Nyers', we can't be sure 'Ochkarik' really killed 'Chlamyda'. It is, however, clear the bear he killed was a large one. So large, Batalov hardly recognized 'Ochkarik' after he had eaten the bear. Does this prove an adult male Amur tiger is able to kill a larger (heavier) male brown bear? No. The reason? No hard evidence and no details.   

Tiger 'Borya' 

There's another male tiger that made headlines. I'm referring to male tiger 'Borya' ('Boris'). When he was about 18 months of age, it was President Vladimir Putin himself who released him into the taiga in May 2014. In the reserve located in the Jewish Autonomous Region, 'Borya' didn't need a lot of time to adapt. The youngster killed at least two bears in his first year. Biologist were unable to get to an accurate determination, but they thought both bears, like 'Borya', were youngsters (2-3 years of age). 

The difference between 'Ochkarik' and 'Borya' is the last one was wearing a collar transmitting signals for about two years. This enabled biologists to track him and find some of the animals he killed. What they found, proved immature male Amur tigers, in contrast to what was assumed for a long time, hunt young bears.  

It also proved young tigers can quickly develop in this department. In an article published June 10, 2015, it's stated 'Borya' had killed at least one adult brown bear. Our member 'Apex Titan' posted the article in another forum some time ago. 

Here's a scan of the article published by VladNews and written by Nikolay Kutenkikh. It's interesting from start to finish:

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

About 18 months later, another article about 'Borya' was published. It, without a shadow of doubt, proves 'Borya' still hunted adult bears (watch the -s-). It also proves adult Amur tigers occasionally hunt together. I scanned the first and third page of the article:

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author


Although there's no reliable evidence of adult male brown bears killed by male tigers in the period 1992-2021, there's a lot of reliable information pointing in another direction. I'm not only referring to books published before the Siberian Tiger Project started, but also to recent information and interviews with those considered to be in the know. Although they in particular favour the male tiger for reasons discussed in my previous post, it's not a one-way street. Adult male tigers have been killed by male brown bears in the recent past. 

What is known (referring to books written by Russian biologists published before the Siberian Tiger Project started), suggests individuals affected by disease, injuries, starvation, age and a lack of experience were the most common victims.
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Netherlands peter Offline
Expert & Researcher

(11-15-2021, 01:49 AM)GuateGojira Wrote:
(09-24-2021, 08:40 AM)peter Wrote: one of our members with access to good information ('Betty') saw a video about a male of 575 pounds (260,82 kg) recently captured in northeastern China.

Hello again Peter, can you please show me the information, post or document, showing the data of this great tiger?

This figure suggest that Amur tiger may be returning to its old glory.

Hello, my friend. Nice to see you here once again. Hope you're doing ok.  

As to the question. Our member 'Betty' informed me about the tiger in a PM. China, as you may know, recently created a few large reserves in the northeastern region and informs those interested in a series broadcasted on what could be (not sure) a regional channel. According to 'Betty', the tiger was weighed and measured by a biologist. He's the one informing the public about tigers in the new reserves (China now has about 60 Amur tigers). 

There's not much known about the length and weight of wild Amur tigers today, but a researcher working in Russia recently said male Amur tigers (sample size 8 or 9) average about 206 kg (455 pounds). I asked our member 'Khan', who contacted the researcher, to post the information in this thread.

I've been working on a table with information about the length, weight and skull length of captive Amur tigers. I finished the table a few days ago and will post it this week in this thread.
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