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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 01-11-2023, 06:59 PM by Apex Titan )

Here is further confirmation from Russian biologist Mikhail Krechmar and the Amur Tiger Center, about the tiger killing the large male brown bear in the Khekhtsir reserve.

The Amur Tiger Center also confirmed this account, and also added that tigers, in general, often hunt bears. Himalayan bears are killed more often, but brown bears are also taken:

*This image is copyright of its original author

A bear poster from Carnivora also contacted Mikhail Krechmar (Bear specialist & hunting biologist) about this incident. Even Mikhail Krechmar accepts this case.

Read the full discussion here:

Both Sergey Kolchin (leading expert on tigers and bears in Russia) and Krechmar believe and accept this account to be confirmed.

Krechmar also stated that the tiger confidently crushes even large black bears. Confirming what biologist Sergey Kolchin told me, that even large male black bears (weighing 200+kg and body length of 2 meters), also fall prey to tigers.

Krechmar was also asked if it was a "very large bear" killed, and he said - "Yes, healthy."  So Krechmar agrees that the bear was 'very large' and 'healthy.'  Which also confirms all the information I posted about this incident.

*This image is copyright of its original author

So the largest bear ever confirmed to have been killed by a tiger, is a large adult male brown bear (of impressive size, palm callus width - 18 cm) slaughtered by a smaller tiger (paw print 10-11 cm) in a fight. Which finally destroys the big myth of adult male brown bears being "immune" to tiger predation.

The case of the tiger 'Odyr' killing the large male brown bear in a fight, was again mentioned in a recent article. - January 9, 2023

"This thunderstorm of the taiga once even fought with a bear and emerged victorious from the fight. It is worth noting that tigers have no natural enemies, so the Himalayan bears have almost no chance of confronting them in the fight for territory."

*This image is copyright of its original author

Here is the first-hand reports & information about this incident, from the "Reserved Amur region":
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Brazil Matias Offline
Regular Member

It certainly is fully confirmed that a large male brown bear was killed by a tiger!!!

You do a formidable job of gathering information and who knows, maybe we'll have a new big male brown bear killed by the same tiger, and years may go by and no sign of predation on another big bear is found. If there really is an advantage of tigers over large adult male brown bears we would hardly (historically) have so few elements and factual narratives. There is no prevalence of assumptions about whether bears win or lose a fight, as losing a fight is not synonymous with the explicit determinism that large male brown bears are likely to succumb in an eventual battle to a tiger.

Killing by a lesser tiger (Odyr) has not been proven, it is still an assumption based on the issue of territorial dominance/control. All evidence incriminates him, but there is doubt about materiality. Even so, we will never know the circumstances of the combat, nor the physical and health conditions of the defeated bear. As a hypercarnivore, the tiger is always on the lookout for predation and circumstantially visualized that it was facing an opportunity (but what would this advantage be?). As tiger predation on large male brown bears is not common, there will always be speculation as to why the tiger easily beats this opponent (easily due to the absence of signs of post-fight injury). Possibly here lies that something unusual caused this tiger to do so well in front of this bear.

About black bears, the material posted here consolidates that their predation by siberian tigers is fully documented and reported, including large male specimens of this species.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 01-12-2023, 08:09 PM by Apex Titan )


Here's why I think the large male brown bear was most likely a healthy, well-fed brown bear killed by the tiger. Here are some very important facts to note based on the reports and specialists who examined the kill-site:

1) The killed bear is specifically noted to be of "impressive size" with a palm callus width of 18 cm. 

2) Last year (2022) when this bear was killed, there was a good harvest of acorns and plenty of food for bears in the Khekhtsir reserve. Due to this fact, its highly unlikely a bear, especially a big male brown bear would struggle to find enough food to fatten up for hibernation. The bear was killed in late November, but its a fact that some bears will continue to roam the forests until mid-December when there is plenty of food in the forest. Which was the case in this reserve!

3) Not a single report even implies, let alone mentions that the killed bear could have been "weakened", "connecting-rod", "dying from starvation", a "desperate" individual etc, nothing. None of the forest rangers and specialists who found the killed bear stated that the bear could have possibly been weakened or a shatun bear. Whenever a shatun-bear (connecting-rod) is killed in any scenario, it is always specifically stated in the news reports. But not in this case.

4) The reports specifically mention that the bear "didn't have time to hibernate" or was "about to go into hibernation." Which again, strongly suggests that the brown bear was a healthy, well-fed bear about to go into hibernation, but was attacked, killed and eaten by a tiger before he could.

5) The battle-ground was examined by forest guards, inspectors & rangers. Yuri Kya is a highly trained and experienced expert in judging the traces of wild animals in the forest. These same forest inspectors and rangers also oversee and take part in the census of wild animals in the Khekhtsir reserve. They also know the animals very intimately, and also know the tiger Odyr very well.

6) Although the tiger wasn't injured from the fight, it still wasn't an easy battle. The specialists found clear traces all over the forest clearing of a long, serious fight between the tiger and bear. So the big bear had the energy, strength and endurance to fight the tiger for a prolonged period of time in the snow, which is even more tiring for both animals.

7) The paw width of the killer tiger's tracks matched the size of Odyr's. The bear was also killed in the tiger Odyr's territory. He most often lives in that particular area of the reserve.

In another later report about the census of animals in the Khekhtsir reserve, Yuri Kya mentioned that Odyr had killed the brown bear:

“According to my analysis of the movement of tigers, it turns out the following: on November 27, Odyr was noted by us on the carcass of a bear that he had killed earlier; on November 30, he was noticed by a detachment of border troops at the junction of the Bogdanovskaya-Chirkinskaya outposts."

Here is the fully accurate English translation of the Russian text. Yandex translate (Russian company):

“According to my analysis of the movement of tigers, it turns out the following: on November 27, Odyr was marked by us on the carcass of a bear he had extracted earlier; on November 30, he was spotted by a border guard outfit at the junction of Bogdanovskaya-Chirkinskaya outposts."

So Yuri Kya and the other specialists, seem quite sure that the tiger 'Odyr' killed the big male brown bear. All in all, taking all these factors into account: tiger paw print size, area and assumptions of the experts, I'm sure that the tiger responsible for killing the large male brown bear was Odyr. And the bear he killed, was most likely a healthy, well-fed male brown bear about to go into hibernation, but unfortunately got unlucky, as he was attacked and killed by a tiger.

Why would the tiger attack such a large male brown bear?  Well, its well documented that tigers prefer to hunt bears in summer and autumn, when bears have gained weight. A large, well-fed bear will provide the tiger with plenty of meat. Sergey Kolchin (biologist who studies tigers and bears in Khabarovsk) also added that brown bears are common prey for adult male tigers. Tkachenko, a biologist who also studied bear-hunting tigers in the Khekhtsir reserve, also reported that when tigers hunt brown bears, the male tigers more often hunt adults, larger bears.

According to biologist Sergey Kucherenko's observations, when a tiger kills a 200-300 kg bear, it feeds the tiger for about 8-10 days:

"Our numerous observations have also shown that an adult tiger eats a pig of average fatness (about 30 kilograms) or half of a two-year-old pig in one go. A red deer or a wild boar with a live weight of 150-200 kilograms is usually eaten by a tiger in a week. A crushed large bear (weighing 200-300 kg) has an animal that lives for 8-10 days."

Its very likely that Odyr has successfully hunted adult brown bears before, and due to his experience, he decided to attack and kill a large adult male brown bear that was trespassing in his territory, but also a big, juicy bear that would feed him nicely.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 01-13-2023, 05:58 PM by Apex Titan )

Some posters are confused by the video comment section, by some Russians who are referring to the killed male brown bear as "Misha". In Russia, its very common for people to refer to brown bears in general as "Misha".

This name (Misha), in any of its forms, is a common colloquialism in Russian for a bear, because it is similar to the standard name for 'bear,' медведь (medved'). Also, most anthropomorphic bears in Russian fairy tales have this name.

So its normal for Russians to refer to any brown bear in general, as "Misha", it doesn't mean that particular individual bear is literally named "Misha".

Anyways, a Chinese poster 'goodhope683' received an email from the reserve. The person who replied to the email was Mikhail Milezhik (head of the security department of the Bolshekhekhtsirsky reserve of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Reserved Amur Region")

Mikhail Milezhik confirmed that the killed male brown bear was indeed an adult brown bear with a palm callus width of 18 cm.

Q:Я видел в вашем заповеднике новость о том, что северо - восточный тигр убил взрослого бурого медведя, в которой говорилось, что у него ширина ладони 18 сантиметров. Это правда? Спасибо, желаю вам всего наилучшего!

This report was sent to him:

Mikhail Milezhik:Здравствуйте, да информация действительна

English translation:

Q: I saw a news report in your reserve about a northeast tiger killing an adult brown bear, which said that it had a palm width of 18 centimeters. This is true? Thank you, wish you all the best!

Mikhail Milezhik: Hello, yes the information is valid.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Chinese people (including locals) often refer to Amur or Siberian tigers as the "Northeast tiger".
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Brazil Matias Offline
Regular Member

hello @Apex Titan 

I understand your arguments very well, you have posted an enormous amount of material and there is no question as to what you understand about this whole predation story. If you and I read the same book, our observations will still be somewhat different. In the specific case, I brought an element that I consider very valid in this context, based on the reasonableness of perceiving that there are unknown circumstances involving two large animals that confront each other – there is always an aggressor and an assaulted, and only tigers have a relationship direct interest in hunting a bear (for food). In a fight so long that it left many traces on the landscape, it would also inflict wounds on the victor. Can you accept this? I cannot digest all this context for a simple analysis that this tiger (Odyr) specializes in hunting large male brown bears. It is unlikely to be just that.

I kept thinking about the combat itself, and I can't close my thoughts without looking into the existence of something peculiar to this big bear (internal injuries and any wounds, muscle sprains that affected its mechanical capacity, etc.), or even the geography of the landscape. It's my way of seeing and assimilating the subject that doesn't need to deny your argument in any way.

In 1953, “Animal Behaviour” was published for the first time, scientifically approaching articles, essays and studies compiling all available material on all aspects of animal behavior. Since that time, studies have already predicted that animal behavior was something very complex, which escaped the determinisms and stereotypes common at the time, such as the reductionism of behavior by instinct. Since then, as research has progressed, it has become clear that animals make choices, decide paths, set up strategies, carry out medium/high complexity analyses, hesitate, and have multiple attitudes within their own species. What I can say to you in a very constructive way is to keep your eyes and mind open – more interesting is the path and not the arrival. We are always open to good information and good analyzes that find logic in some aspect of animal life and ecology. We should not stick only to the facts, since behind the attitudes and decisions taken there is a whole world of possibilities that can hardly be closed. We should not be replicators of the position of a biologist A or B (it is a point of support, a consistent parameter that opens up possibilities and not that closes a subject), we are free to conjecture and complement any point of view or analysis; after all, how to explain a fact without a set of thoughts that can better compose this situational picture, in a predictive way and with good consistency.

My best lengths!
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 06-06-2023, 07:45 PM by Apex Titan )

(01-13-2023, 06:21 PM)Matias Wrote: hello @Apex Titan 

I understand your arguments very well, you have posted an enormous amount of material and there is no question as to what you understand about this whole predation story. If you and I read the same book, our observations will still be somewhat different. In the specific case, I brought an element that I consider very valid in this context, based on the reasonableness of perceiving that there are unknown circumstances involving two large animals that confront each other – there is always an aggressor and an assaulted, and only tigers have a relationship direct interest in hunting a bear (for food). In a fight so long that it left many traces on the landscape, it would also inflict wounds on the victor. Can you accept this? I cannot digest all this context for a simple analysis that this tiger (Odyr) specializes in hunting large male brown bears. It is unlikely to be just that.

I kept thinking about the combat itself, and I can't close my thoughts without looking into the existence of something peculiar to this big bear (internal injuries and any wounds, muscle sprains that affected its mechanical capacity, etc.), or even the geography of the landscape. It's my way of seeing and assimilating the subject that doesn't need to deny your argument in any way.

In 1953, “Animal Behaviour” was published for the first time, scientifically approaching articles, essays and studies compiling all available material on all aspects of animal behavior. Since that time, studies have already predicted that animal behavior was something very complex, which escaped the determinisms and stereotypes common at the time, such as the reductionism of behavior by instinct. Since then, as research has progressed, it has become clear that animals make choices, decide paths, set up strategies, carry out medium/high complexity analyses, hesitate, and have multiple attitudes within their own species. What I can say to you in a very constructive way is to keep your eyes and mind open – more interesting is the path and not the arrival. We are always open to good information and good analyzes that find logic in some aspect of animal life and ecology. We should not stick only to the facts, since behind the attitudes and decisions taken there is a whole world of possibilities that can hardly be closed. We should not be replicators of the position of a biologist A or B (it is a point of support, a consistent parameter that opens up possibilities and not that closes a subject), we are free to conjecture and complement any point of view or analysis; after all, how to explain a fact without a set of thoughts that can better compose this situational picture, in a predictive way and with good consistency.

My best lengths!

I understand where you're coming from. You brought up some logical and interesting points. I'm a person who adamantly believes in the existence of Bigfoot (Sasquatch), Aliens and paranormal entities etc, so trust me, I'm a very open-minded person. However, in this case, I'm basing my arguments and opinions on the facts, statements and reports from the specialists and authorities on this incident, especially of those who examined the battle-ground/kill-site and found the killed bear.

What I find interesting, is that highly trained and experienced forest guards/rangers, were not surprised that a moderate-sized tiger was able to kill a significantly larger adult male brown bear in a prolonged fight, without sustaining any injuries. The specialists didn't even speculate, nor assume that the killed bear could have possibly been a "weakened" or "sick" individual. Nothing. The question is why?

Even the first-hand reports from the "Reserved Amur region" only noted how the killed bear was of "impressive size" and had a palm callus width of 18 cm. But no mention/assumptions of the bear possibly being already weakened or sick etc, prior to his death by the tiger. 

As to the fight, yes, I can see why some people may find it hard to accept that a smallish tiger killed a much larger, healthy male brown bear in a prolonged battle without getting injured himself, but its also a fact that every fight is different. Sometimes a tiger will not get injured in a fight against a large bear, sometimes it will. It depends.

For example, the tiger Dima killed a very large female brown bear in a prolonged fight, but was never reported to have been injured from the battle at all. But in another case (one year after Dima's death), in August 2001, another male tiger also killed a very large, mature female brown bear in a fierce, prolonged fight as well, but was reported to have sustained only a minor injury (a bleeding wound), but nothing serious. One could say that how can a tiger fight another large, immensely powerful and similar-sized predator in a head-on fight, but in one case not get injured at all, and in another case, only get a minor injury. But it happened, confirmed by the STP biologists (Seryodkin, Miquelle, Goodrich, Kerley et al). And both large brown bear sows were killed by those tigers in summer, when bears are in their peak condition, weights and full strength!

Remember the Jim Corbett account of an exceptionally large male Himalayan black bear fighting a tiger?  Even in this case, the huge bear, despite his massive size and strength, was unable to even injure the tiger, whereas the tiger inflicted some brutal damage on the big bear. The bear was literally scalped to the bone and its nose torn in half.

But then there are rare cases of tigers getting injured in fights by smaller sloth bears. Why is this? How comes in some cases sloth bears can manage to injure a tiger in a serious fight, whereas the much larger brown bears and huge male Asiatic black bears fail to do so in some cases??  

What this shows is that every fight is different. Maybe Odyr is a highly adept bear-killer who was able to avoid any injuries in the fight. 

There are also cases of tigers killing 'large' and 'very large' male (Ussuri) wild boars in prolonged fights without sustaining any injuries whatsoever. But then there are rare cases of other tigers getting injured in fights with large male wild boars, and even in extremely rare cases, even killed. So again, it depends.

The juvenile Amur tiger 'Kuzya' who was only 1.5 years old, killed a very large male wild boar in a tough fight without getting injured himself, but then there are other cases of fully mature adult tigers getting injured by smaller boars. So a fight between a tiger and a large, well-armed and dangerous animal has many faces. In some cases the tiger may get injured, but then in many other, or most cases against the same dangerous animal, the tiger doesn't get injured in the fight and is able to destroy his/her opponent. Keep this in mind as well.

Maybe the tiger Odyr's lighter weight, speed and agility gave it an advantage in the fight against the bigger, slower and more cumbersome brown bear in the snow?
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peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 04-13-2023, 12:41 PM by peter )


5 - Introduction

In the last week of November 2022, a male brown bear with a palm width of 18 cm was found dead in the buffer zone of the Bolshekhtsirsky Reserve. The original report on the site of the Federal State Budgetary Institution 'Reserved Amur Region', falling under the umbrella of the Ministry of Natural resources, was first posted by our member 'Nyers' in the thread 'Tiger Predation' (post 2,307, 29-11-2022). 

He ('Nyers') added a few tables to the post with information about the correlation between palm width, total length and weight in adult brown bears. In Kamchatka, an average adult male brown bear (of 7 years and older) with that palm width is 216,7 cm (range 200-249) in total length measured 'over curves' and 268,7 kg (range 180-410). In Sichote-Alin, an average adult male brown bear (of 8 years and older) averages 211,6 cm (range 198-224) in total length measured 'over curves' and 257,5 kg (range 204-363). The information of the last table is from 'Space use by brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Sichote-Alin', Seryodkin (IV) et al., 1999. Adult male brown bears in Kamchatka are a tad larger than adult male brown bears in Sichote-Alin, that is.

The information posted by 'Nyers' and the table I posted some time ago (in this thread) suggest the brown bear found dead in the buffer zone of the Bolshekhtsirsky Reserve was an adult male. The bear was found by a team headed by Yuri Kya, Chief Engineer for Forest Protection and Forestry Activities of the Bolshekhtsirsky Reserve. Security guards said Amur tigers had attacked bears more than once that summer (2022), including Himalayan black bears. Watch the word 'including'.

If you want to know more, my advice is to visit the thread 'Tiger Predation' (post 2,307). It has a link to the original report. The original report has a link to the news archive of the organisation ('Reserved Amur Region'). The news archive has a lot of interesting information about the 8 reserves and national parks for which this organisation is responsible (Bolshekhtsirsky, Bologne, Badjaal, Anyui, Komsomol, Oljikah, Udyl and the Shantar islands).      

Not long after 'Nyers' posted the report, 'Apex Titan', in this thread, posted additional information about the dead male brown bear in this thread. Although his efforts were appreciated by many, those interested in bears had a different opinion. Their posts in 'Domain of the bears' show they agreed on a 3-year old brown bear cub with a severe cough and the feet of a giant shot by a male tiger that aimed for a wild boar. Apex, as usual, was ridiculed and dismissed. 

As a result, Apex posted more information about interactions between tigers and brown bears in the Russian Far East in general and the male bear found in the Bolshekhtsirsky Reserve in particular. His efforts were met with even more cynicism, which resulted in still more posts about interactions between etc. I concluded the exchange between Apex and those interested in bears had resulted in something I had seen all too often in the past (referring to discussions about tigers and lions in the former AVA, now Tapatalk). The animosity was confirmed by members of Wildfact who had joined 'Domain of the Bears' as well. Quite a few contacted me in private. Without exception, they complained about the assumed 'agenda' of Apex.  

Our member 'Matias' didn't contact me in private. In his post in the thread 'Big Cat and Bear Tale', he referred to the animosity and the results it had. In post 482, Matias said our forum, as a result of more 'versus debates', was moving in the wrong direction. Not long after his post, Apex responded to the his post in no uncertain way. Meaning he more or less confirmed the conclusion of Matias and also meaning the situation at Wildfact has changed in the last months. As it wasn't a change for the better, I had to take a few decisions. 

The most important of these is the debate about the male brown bear and his alleged killer (male tiger 'Odyr') will be suspended for now. It will resume when the situation has improved. This means the cause of the problems has to be removed. In order to get there, I'll talk to those involved in the debate. All in all, I need about 3 weeks to solve the problem. Remember anyone posting about the bear and the tiger or contacting me in private in that period will be banned, no exceptions. 

In contrast to what some seem to think, Apex can, and most probably, will continue in some weeks. If he does, the condition is to focus on good information in one forum (and one thread) only. Meaning I don't want him to discuss the bear found dead in Bolskekhtsirsky in November 2022 in other forums. The reason is it will result in problems. Problems that will be imported to Wildfact. This means he has to learn to ignore remarks of others interested in tigers and bears. Last but not least is I want him to change his outlook and attitude. The decision to convince others no matter what resulted in a state of mind that can have one result only. I'll tell him Wildfact, apart from good information, is about respect. The attitude needed to get there is very different from, say, determination. Determination often is the first step leading to something all of us know all too well. I don't want it here. You do determination at home. At a public forum, you have to (learn to) communicate in a meaningful and respectful way. The last step in the development to become a good poster is to understand it's always possible to agree to disagree in a respectful way. 

Remember this post will be edited in the next days. As usual, it will have a number of paragraphs and a conclusion. Most paragraphs will be about how to interact on a public forum, but the tiger and the bear will be discussed as well.  

I don't think it's superfluous to underline it's difficult to get to solid conclusions when interactions between two elusive wild animals are discussed. The reason is only very few witnessed a wild Amur tiger and a wild Ussuri brown bear interact. In the great majority of cases, a conclusion, or more accurately, an interpretation is the result of eliminating all other options. More often than not, it's a very personal choice based on a few facts, a few assumptions, sound reasoning, logic and reasonable arguments.   
6 - How not to interact on a public forum

6a - Introduction 

The aim of those who started this forum is to provide, and discuss, good information about the natural world. With 'good information', they mean information collected by those who know about the natural world (referring to biologists, naturalists, security guards, rangers and people living at the edge of, or in, national parks and protected reserves).

More often than not, those interested in interactions between Amur tigers, Himalayan black bears and Ussuri brown bears face a problem in that interactions between these species are very seldom witnessed. When a dead bear or tiger is found, biologists often have no other choice than to depend on what those who saw the results of, say, a fight or an act of predation, found. As this usually isn't enough to get to conclusions, experience, local knowledge and interpretations can't be avoided. By eliminating all factors that come into play, a conclusion is drawn.  

Interpretations based on knowledge and logic, reason and insight can be discussed. This is not the case when they're based on preference and emotions.  

In my opinion (referring to the Russian Far East in particular), those who have firsthand knowledge about interactions between tigers and bears often are able get to the correct conclusions. The reason is Russian biologists and rangers got to knowledge the hard way, meaning they walk the taiga all day every day. It resulted in something many of their peers can only admire: firsthand knowledge. That, however, doesn't mean they know what happened each time they enter a battlefield.   

This is what those following the proceedings behind a screen also know. If those driven by preference really want to, it isn't that difficult to oppose conclusions of even experts. They can contact other experts and if the one they contacted doesn't deliver what they want, they'll contact another. With 'experts', I mean biologists who have knowledge about interactions between tigers and bears in the Russian Far East. That, however, doesn't mean they actually visited the location where a tiger and a bear met. 
In the incident that happened in the last week of November 2022 in the buffer zone of the Bolshekhtsirsky Reserve, discussions between members of forums, and those who joined 'Domain of the Bears' in particular, didn't result in a reasonable conclusion. Their approach resulted in a 2-3 year old brown bear with immense feet that was accidentally shot by a lucky tiger. Meaning those who actually saw the bear were dismissed. A bloody shame, but this is what can be expected when those 'discussing' the incident are driven by figurative (unsound) motives. 

What is the reason 'debates' between those interested in interactions between Amur tigers tigers, Himalayan black bears and Ussuri brown bears nearly always result gun fights, crap, animosity and destruction? 

6b - Interest in the natural world versus favouritism    

Experience says most of those who join a forum to talk about wild animals are not that interested in the natural world. They are interested in the most impressive representative of one species only and it goes without saying their favourite has an impreccable records in all respects. Getting hunted and eaten by a professional carnivore, of course, isn't one of them. 
Favouritism, in other words, often results in a narrow outlook. If those involved in favouritism interact with other members, chances are it will have an effect. If those opposing their 'views' also indulge in favouritism, the exchange that follows often compares to a gunfight. The most logical outcome, apart from animosity, is destruction. This means forum administrators and mods often have to intervene. Not what they want, but if they don't chances are the forum will explode right in front of their eyes. Not seldom, destruction is the very aim of quite a few heavily involved in favouritism. 

Not very different from the world outside forums, that is. In that part of the world, in order to prevent destruction and chaos, the Department of Justice was invented. Moderators don't have a courthouse and a jail, but their delete finger usually is well developed. Forum administrators often have a well-developed ban finger, but that doesn't mean they want to use it each time a 'debate' results in animosity. This is why they sometimes decide for a post like this one.    

6c - Trust versus distrust  
About a year ago I saw a Russian video (that was removed a few months later) in which a male brown bear robbing a male tiger for a prolonged period of time was discussed. The bear, the largest they had seen by a margin (his prints were larger than their boots combined), was heavily involved in fishing. He was well aware of the tiger and kept a close eye on him. The tiger killed once or twice a week. After he had a meal, the bear took over. 

Although they, most probably, didn't graduate in Biology, the men really knew about the outdoors. They were experienced. The video had a lot of detailed information and their interpretation of what they witnessed was interesting. The video didn't have any footage of the tiger and the big bear, but I never doubted their conclusions. I trusted them, that is. Trust is the result of a decision.    

If you graduated in Biology and post a video you made in which you discuss interactions between tigers and bears, chances are you could convince a number of peers and, perhaps, a few members of forums. When the conclusions, however, don't fit their (referring to forum members) 'views', it can, and often will be, rejected out of hand. When you would conclude favouritism and trust often oppose each other, you're quite close. This is a problem, as trust is the fundament of every organisation, like a society, a firm or a forum. If it isn't there, distrust will appear. Distrust and meaningful communication don't mix, meaning it will destroy any organisation sooner or later. In the end, distrust can only result in smaller organisations opposing each other in every possible way. The most logical outcome of this development is animosity. At the moment, unfortunately, this approach is quite popular. One can only hope those involved in favouritism in general wake up in time.   

6d - Contributions based on reason versus contributions based on preconceived ideas
Everyone joining an organisation of some kind, in order to prevent distrust and animosity, has to act in a constructive way. This means they have to refrain from favouritism. They also have to learn how to get to an educated opinion. An educated opinion is a personal choice based on good information, sound reasoning and reasonable interpretations. Reasonable interpretations are based on a combination of facts, circumstances and logic. If, say, a forum member is unwilling or unable in this department, a meaningful discussion is all but impossible.          

One could say those driven by serious preference or favouritism are not that interested in good information, sound reasoning and reasonable interpretations. Their goal is to find information that will confirm their 'views'. As these, more often than not, as based on preconceived, often unrealistic, ideas, it won't be easy. In order to justify these views, they often refer to unconfirmed anecdotes or unsound 'theories'. Those opposing them often are dismissed outright. If not, they're confronted with inconsistencies or, quite popular these days, double standards. Here's a few examples.       

6e - Consistency versus double standards 

The post in which the video mentioned above was discussed didn't result in questions, let alone a debate. This although my decision to accept the story about the big male brown bear displacing the male tiger wasn't based on hard evidence, but trust. There were no questions of those interested in tigers and bears.    

In 2017, a large male brown bear known as 'Chlamyda' made headlines. The reason was he had been following, and displacing, a tigress with cubs for a prolonged period of time. As his behaviour had consequences for the tigress and her cubs, those responsible for her safety (Amur tigers are a protected species), discussed the bear. In the period they were considering hunting the big bear, they heard the tigress 'complaining' about the bear. They never heard a sound like that before. Not long after she sent her message, the father of the cubs, tiger 'Ochkarik', made his appearance. I discussed a video showing both of them in this thread some years ago. Based on what I know, I concluded he was trying to reassure the tigress. 

Not long after 'Ochkarik' visited tigress 'Rachelle', the big male brown bear disappeared. He was never seen again. Our former mod 'Shadow' contacted Batalov about the bear some time after he had disappeared. Batalov said he had no idea what had happened to the bear. About two years later, however, Batalov had reached a conclusion. In two interviews, he said he was sure the big bear had been killed and eaten by tiger 'Ochkarik'. As he, apart from a few heels he found, didn't produce any 'hard' evidence, his conclusion was surprising. In another interview, however, I read the big male bear, after he left tigress 'Rachelle', had visited the kills of 'Ochkarik' as well. There's more information that pointed in the direction of a confrontation between the big bear and the male tiger, but Batalov apparently needed time to get to a conclusion. The question is what made him change his mind.  

Batalov graduated in Hunting Biology, has a great curriculum, even more experience and really knows about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East. If he gets to a conclusion about tiger 'Ochkarik' and brown bear 'Chlamyda', he must have had very good reasons. In spite of all that, his conclusion was dismissed by those interested in bears in no uncertain way. The reason is his conclusion is based on circumstantial evidence, logic, reasoning and eliminating all other explanations. Compare to the response to the video discussed above.   

A few years later, another male brown bear was found dead in a reserve not that far away. People I would regard as very experienced concluded he was killed by a male tiger they knew well. Although they had quite convincing evidence (prints, a body and the resting place of the tiger), their conclusion was rejected by those interested in bears.      

The two male brown bears discussed above are not the only male brown bears killed by male tigers. I decided against an overview, as these incidents (three as far as I know) have been discussed more than once (in this thread). I can, however, tell you all were dismissed out of hand. 

7 - Tigers and bears in the Russian Far East

7a - Opinions of hunters and biologists up to 1992

The Russian Far East is unique in many respects. In this region, the arctic and the subtropics meet. It's also the only region where bears and tigers have lived in close proximity for a very long time. The question that still intrigues many is in what way Himalayan black bears, Ussuri brown bears and Amur tigers interact. 

When I joined the former AVA Forum (now Tapatalk) in 2009, there were quite a few discussions about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East in different threads. I selected the thread 'Male brown bears are not out of the predatory reach of male Amur tigers if of similar size'. The thread is still there for all to see and it's still is a good read.   

One of those who participated said Russian biologists had discussed tigers and bears in the sixties of the last century. They more or less confirmed the conclusion of Baikov, who thought experienced male Amur tigers hunted bears 'almost up to their own size'. Adult male brown bears, however, were considered too big and too dangerous to hunt. The poster I referred to said most of those 'in the know' (referring to experienced hunters and biologists) concluded brown bears (referring to adult males) 'win on points'.

7b - The Siberian Tiger Project (STP)
In 1992, the Siberian Tiger Project (STP) was launched. It was unique in that it was the first time a serious, longterm, attempt was made to learn more about the tigers living in the Russian Far East. The goal of the project was to conserve the Amur tiger. In order to achieve this goal, reliable information was needed. Most of the documents published, for this reason, were about tiger ecology. 

Bears initially only featured in a few tables in articles in which food habits of tigers were discussed. Around the turn of the century, however, things began to change. In 'Tigers in the Sichote-Alin Zapovednik: Ecology and Conservation', 2005 (Miquelle (DG), Smirnov (EN) and Goodrich (JM), one chapter had recent, and original, information about interactions between tigers and bears. The information discussed in that chapter, again, more or less confirmed the conclusions of those who discussed interactions between tigers and bears in the sixties of the previous century (see above). 

Tigers hunt bears occasionally, but not in every region. Most bears targeted were smaller than their killers. Adult male bears, and adult male brown bears in particular, were considered too dangerous to hunt. One could conclude adult male brown bears top the food chain and be close, that is. 

7c - The Amur Tiger Programme (ATP)

This is an independent project " ... carried out as part of the Russian Academy of Sciences permanent expedition for the study of Red Data Book animals and other important wildlife in Russia. The expedition was started in 2008 as part of work of the Severtsov Instititute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEE RAS). The research supervisor ... is ... Dmitry Palov, who is also the director of the IEE RAS; the head of the expedition is ... V. Rozhnov, who is also deputy director at the institute. 

The Amur Tiger Programme aims to develop a scientific platform for the conservation of the Amur tiger living in Russia's Far East. The programme's objective is to study the distribution of the Amur tiger populations, the number of migration routes ... and the way they use the landscape. Also, scientists are researching their reproductive biology, habitat, feeding patterns and food resources, the distribution and dynamics of the populations of the main prey species, and the tigers' relationships with rival predators ... " (from the website). 

Those interested in the interactions between tigers and bears no doubt noticed the last part of the last sentence. 

7d - The Amur Tiger Center (ATC)

This is an " ... autonomous non-commercial organization established for preservation and researching the Amur tiger population in Russia. It was founded in ... 2013 by the Russian Geographic Society at the initiative of President of the Russian Federation V. Putin. This ... project includes the usual research and education you expect from a conservation project, but also funds the Amur Tiger Rangers who dedicate their lives to patrolling the protected areas to stop poaching.

The Amur Tiger center contributed to the effort to optimise hunting supervision in the Primorye Territory. Wildlife services were provided with more fuel, and emergency teams were equipped with cars, snowmobiles and quads. 

S. Aramilev, PhD (Biology), director of the Primorye Territory branch of the Amur Tiger Center, noted that people are getting used to the wildlife services that patrol the territories, which has an important preventive effect. 

S. Naidenko, PhD (Biology), lead researcher at the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciency, discussed how growing pet populations can increase the risk of disease among wild animals. To protect rare species like the Amur tiger, Naidenko said guidelines on pet care are needed, in particular compulsory vaccinations for dogs ... " (from the website of the Amur Tiger Center). 
7e - Five names to remember

Dale Miquelle, Country Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Russia Program, was, and is, involved in a lot of research. He also featured in many documentairies. I don't know if he saw bears killed by Amur tigers himself, but his, direct and indirect, involvement in research resulted in a lot of knowledge about tigers and bears.

Linda Kerley, an academic researcher from the Zoological Society of London, wrote or co-wrote many articles about the ecology of the Amur tiger. She also personally saw bears killed by tigers and responded to questions of a few forum members in the past.  

Sergei Aramilev " ... graduated from the Academy of Environmental Studies, Marine Biology and Biotechnology at the Far Eastern State University in 2005. Three years later, he received a PhD in Biological Sciences majoring in Zoology and Biology-an-Soil Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of te Russian Academy of Science. In the period 2003-2013, he was Leading Coordinator of the programme on biodiversity of the Amur Branch of the WWF Russia, where he supervised programmes on preserving Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard. In 2013, he headed the Far Eastern Branch of the Autonomous Non-Commercial Organization 'Center for Research and Preservation of the Amur tiger population' created by the Russian Geographical Society to coordinate the implementation of the 'Strategy on Preserving Amur Tiger in the Russian Federation'. Since 2017, he had been Director General of the organization. He was decorated with the Certificate of Merit for contributing to environmental activities by the President of the Russian Federation ... " (from the website of the Roscongress Foundation).     

Alexander Batalov is a " ... renowned conservationist and expert on the endangered Siberian tiger. He studied ecology at the State University or Irkutsk ... and now has more than 35 years of experience working to conserve the unique wildlife of the Russian Far East. Alexander has published over 40 scientific studies on topics ranging from tiger behaviour to sustainic forestry, he currently works as director of the Duminskoye Forest Reserve, which protects a large swathe of prime Siberian tiger habitat. Alongside his scientific work, Alexander has written a series of books and newspaper columns aimed at increasing conservation awareness of the need for Tiger Conservation. He has been featured in several documentairies, including Gordon Buchanan's 'Amba the Russian Tiger' on Animal Planet. Alexander is a suberb all-round naturalist with a deep and infectuous passion for wildlife ... " (Naturetrek).  

Ivan Seryodkin, " ... specializes in large carnivores, has a PhD in biology and holds a position as an assistant professor and the head of the Laboratory of Ecology and Wildlife Conservation in the Pacific Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok. Ivan has worked with WCS since 1998, participating in different programs such as the Siberian Tiger Project, Brown bear and Asiatic black bear research programs at the Sichote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, and the Kamsjatka brown bear research program. Ivan is presently the Siberian Tiger Project Coordinator ... " (WCS-Russia).  

7f - The results of more research

The aim of all organisations is conservation. I'm not only referring to the Amur tiger, but to all other animals making their home in the unique landscape of the Russian Far East. As conservation is most effective when it's based on research, the organisations mentioned above invested in research. More research and more researchers resulted in more projects in different parts of the Russian Far East. In the end, it resulted in more reliable information. As reliable as it gets. 

Did it result in more information about the ecology of Amur tigers, Himalayan black bears and Ussuri brown bears? Affirmative. And what about the interactions between these animals? Same, but not quite to the same degree. 

Here's a quote from 'A comparison of food habits and prey preference of Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica, Temminck, 1844) at three sites in the Russian Far East', Kerley (L) et al., 2015. The reason I decided for the quote is it is is a good summary of what is known about tigers and bears back then (half a century ago) and today. 

" ... In this study, wild boar contributed significantly less to tiger diet and red deer constituted more during the snow free months, although this difference was not significant (Figure 3). In addition, bears constituted a significantly higher proportion of tiger diet in the summer, and while not significant, badgers increased in diet of tigers during the snow-free period as well. The increased predation on bears ... is likely due to their increased availability following emergence from hibernation and the increased vulnarability of their young, although tigers do prey on adult bears. 

Amur tiger predation of bears is not a new phenomenon (Miquelle et al, 1999; Seryodkin et al, 2003; Miquelle et al, 2005), but our results, in addition to identitying seasonality in tiger predation of bears, also suggest that bears constitute a relatively large portion of tiger diet, particularly during the snow-free period. This runs counter to previous assertions that the risk of injury was too high for tigers to regularly predate bears (Miquelle et al, 2010). While bear remain a relatively minor component of tiger diet relative to ungulates on an annual basis, our study suggests they constitute a seasonally important prey item for tigers ... " (Kerley et al, 2015).    

Here's Appendix 1:

*This image is copyright of its original author

The two main conclusions of Kerley (see above) hold at the level of species. Amur tigers, that is to say, hunt 'bears' more often than was assumed, especially in the snow free months (1). 

Hoe specific is 'bears'? Well, Kerley's study suggests Amur tigers hunt both Himalayan black bears and Ussuri brown bears. The study also suggests the bears hunted were larger than was assumed. And what is 'larger'? When a member of the former AVA Forum contacted her, Kerley said tigers hunt bears up to the size of the 'largest and healthiest' female brown bears. And Himalayan black bears? Kolchin, contacted by 'Apex' some years later (referring to his recent posts in this thread), said even males of 200 kg and over are hunted. 

This means the assumption that bears are too dangerous to hunt on a regular basis, as Kerley stated, had to be adjusted (2). 

7g - Interactions between adult male Amur tigers and adult male Ussuri brown bears - The general rule

Did recent research result in more knowledge about interactions between adult male tigers and adult male brown bears? The answer is affirmative, but to a degree. Before the Siberian Tiger project started in 1992, as you will remember (see 7a), most of those 'in the know' thought male brown bears 'win on points'. At least, this is what some of those who posted in the thread 'Male brown bears are not out of the predatory reach of male tigers if of similar size' said. 

They referred to the opinion of what they considered to be 'authorities' in this department. These apparently discussed interactions between male tigers and male brown bears in the sixties of the last century. Rumour has it they concluded male tigers are able to compete with male brown bears up to their own size (180-200 kg). Large male brown bears, however, were considered to be out of the predatory reach of male tigers. The main reason is large male brown bears are more robust than male tigers, especially in the departments that matter in a fight.

Recent research, however, suggests male tigers and male brown bears avoid each other. Most of those interested in bears think male tigers in particular are the ones avoiding a confrontation. If their assumption is correct, one would expect a confirmation in recent research. My proposal is to move to food to find out a bit more. 

According to Ivan Seryodkin ('Relationships of tigers and bears in the Russian Far East', Seryodkin (I) et al, 2015), 'bears' often fed on tiger kills. Of the 353 tiger kills found in the non-denning period, 62 (17,6%) were used by bears. Of these, 37 (60%) were used by brown bears. Most bears fed on abandoned kills, but in at least 8 cases (12,9%) tigers were displaced by bears, whereas the kill was shared by both tigers and bears in 7 cases (11,3%). The question of interest in this subparagraph is if they found evidence of male tigers displaced by 'bears' in the period 1992-2013? The answer is negative. 

Those interested in bears think male tigers will leave their kill when they see a large male brown bear approaching. They also think researchers wouldn't be able to find evidence confirming this scenario. This assumption, however, is incorrect. Tigers always leave prints near their kill and the difference between prints of tigresses and tigers is well pronounced: the 'heel width' of an adult tigress ranges between 8,0-10,0 cm, whereas an adult male starts at 10,5 cm. Furthermore, experienced biologists and rangers are able get to sound conclusions when they find foot print of tigers and bears. For evidence, read the study. 

The conclusion, therefore, is there's no evidence of adult male bears displacing adult male tigers from their kills. That is to say, biologists never found evidence. That, of course, doesn't mean it never happens.  

The results of the study discussed above do not seem to confirm the conclusion of 'authorities' about (the outcome of) interactions between adult male tigers and adult male brown bears (see 7a): male brown bears do not displace male tigers, meaning they do not seem to 'win on points'. At times, they displace tigresses. With 'at times', I mean about once every 2-3 years (8 tigresses were displaced in the period 1992-2013). This should tell you something.    

7h - Interactions between adult male Amur tigers and adult male Ussuri brown bears - Exceptions

7h1 - Introduction  

Most of those discussing the outcome of a 'fair' fight between a big cat and a brown bear at animal forums think size (weight) is a decisive factor. Although size no doubt is important in some situations, other factors could be as important in other situations. Meaning circumstances have to be considered as well. Same for the 'weapons' that come into play in a confrontation.  

With 'weapons', I'm not only referring to the teeth. Speed and agility are as important. Both bears and tigers have the weapons to quickly decide a fight, meaning the outcome of a fight could depend on the opportunity to use them first. Although all trainers I interviewed agreed bears are much more agile than many think, big cats have an advantage in both respects. If we add big cats (referring to wild adults only) are professional hunters able to use their weapons in an effective way, chances are the combination of agility, speed and skill will result in more opportunities to affect the outcome of a fight. 

7h2 - Skull and teeth

In the end, it is about the (structure of) the skull and the teeth. What do we know about the skull and teeth of adult male brown bears and adult male Amur tigers? 

Adult male brown bears in the Russian Far East (Ursus arctos lasiotus) average 387 mm in greatest total skull length and 235 mm in zygomatic width. Adult male Amur tigers ('Der Tiger', V. Mazak, 1983, pp. 191-196) average 367 mm in greatest total length and 248 mm in zygomatic width.

The problem is Mazak's sample was small (n=9). Furthermore, it included skulls of captive Amur tigers. Table 9 in his famous paper (referring to 'Notes on the Siberian long-haired tiger, Panthera tigris altaica (Temminck, 1844), with a remark on Temminck's mammal volume of the 'Fauna Japonica', Mammalia 31(4), 1967), however, has information about skulls of wild Amur tigers only. Skulls of young adult and adult males (n=7) average 360,54 mm, whereas skulls of adult and old males (n=5) average 371,56 mm in greatest total length. At that length, they average 252,23 mm in zygomatic width and 107,46 mm in rostral width.  

Before he talked to Dr. Yuri Dunishenko and Dr. Alexander Khulikov, Charly Russell ('Grizzly Heart: Living without fear among the brown bears of Kamchatka', Charly Russell and Maureen Enns, 2002, pp. 31 of the Dutch translation) saw quite a few skulls of Ussuri brown bears and Amur tigers in a scientific institute in Khabarowsk. Brown bear skulls were a bit larger, but not by much. Charly wrote he never knew Amur tiger skulls are that large. 

I've never seen a skull of an adult male Ussuri brown bear, but I did measure a few skulls of wild male brown bears. Four skulls of male grizzly's shot in Canada ranged between 361,90-374,61 mm in greatest total length and between 210,74-256,32 mm in zygomatic width. In weight, they ranged between 1,830-2,440 kg. Large skulls without a doubt, but the 'snout' was narrow, especially just in front of the teeth (the maxillary width ranged between 79,40-88,80 mm). The length of the upper canines ranged between 37,0-46,7 mm. Measured at the insertion, they ranged between 21,5-25,6 mm in width. In height, the skulls ranged between 168,6-181,4 mm. 

Do skulls of wild male Amur tigers compare? In greatest total length, the answer is roughly affirmative. Same for elevation at the orbit. Bear skulls are more robust and heavier, but skulls of wild male Amur tigers are wider at the arches. In rostrum width, the difference between wild adult males of both species is significant (about 25%). The reason male tigers have wider rostrums is they need room for the upper canines. 

There's not much information about the length of the upper canines of wild adult male Amur tigers, but I can tell you a bit more about the length of the upper canines in captive male Amur tigers. In 4 skulls averaging 360,2 mm (range 347,0-370,2) in greatest total length, the average length of the upper canines is 66,70 mm (range 61,0-72,5). The average width of the upper canines measured at the insertion is 28,5 mm (range 26,2-30,2). Remember the upper canines in wild tigers often are longer and, in particular, wider at the insertion.  

All this to tell you there are significant differences between adult wild male brown bears and adult wild male Amur tigers in the upper canine department. If we add the difference in rostrum width is significant and tigers are able to exercise a lot of power at the tip of the canines, the conclusion is an average wild male grizzly confronting an adult wild male Amur tiger is facing a larger and more powerful opponent in this respect. I know adult Ussuri brown bears are larger than adult wild grizzly bears, but not by much. My guess is the conclusions will hold for Ussuri male brown bears.  

I can hear you say these conclusions are without individual variation. I agree. Individual variation in Ussuri brown bears is pronounced. I don't doubt some skulls of Ussuri male brown bears compare to those of an average male Amur tiger in the teeth department, but it's also very likely some wild male Amur tigers are significantly larger than an average male. 

7h3 - Ambush or confrontation

One of those participating in the debate about tigers and bears in the thread 'Male brown bears are not out of the predatory reach of male tigers if of similar size' at the former AVA forum was 'Big Bonns'. Bonns, from Canada, contacted a trainer who worked with adult male lions and tigers and a big male brown bear. A bit unlikely (most trainers told me adult males of these species do not tolerate each other), but let's assume the story is true. The trainer said his big male brown bear, using his weight advantage, 'easily' outwrestled the big cats, but added an attack from behind would result in a dead bear.   

My guess is most of those interested in bears remembered that response. They think an adult male Ussuri brown bear is immune in a 'fair' fight. If an incident not quite fitting their view is discussed, they always say assume the bear was 'ambushed'. While this no doubt happens (referring to observations of John Goodrich, who followed experienced male tigers interested in bears in the snow), it is not likely this strategy would work when the bear is large (with 'large', I'm referring to a bear approaching, say, 400 pounds). The reason is the neck circumference of a brown bear of that weight, more often than not, will prevent a quick kill. 

Most of those who had the opportunity to get to a conclusion about a struggle that resulted in a dead bear or a dead tiger, including those who saw the dead male brown bear in Bolshekhtsirsky in November 2022, said the fight had been prolonged. There are, of course, exceptions, but these seem to be few. For now, also referring to trainers who worked with big cats and bears, I'd say a quick decision is quite unlikely in a serious confrontation. Big cats and brown bears aiming for a serious discussion seem to approach each other head on.                

7h4 - Psychology

Apart from the (fysical) differences between both species, there's something else to consider. I'm referring to psychology. Make-up. Let's have a closer look at males of both species. 

Male tigers  

The aim of a wild male tiger is to get to adulthood and a territory. In order to get there, he needs to survive his first year and the first year on his own (Amur tigers disperse at 18-22 months of age). Not easy. About half of the cubs do not survive their first year and subadults also face a lot of problems. They have to learn to avoid adult male tigers, adult male bears and, last but not least, humans. In order to reach their goal, they can cover a lot of ground. Tiger 'Pavlik', seriously involved in Himalayan black bears, walked many hundreds of miles. Same for 'Uporny'. When he finally made it (referring to a territory and a female), he was killed by another tiger. This although he was 4-5 years of age at that time. After reading all reports, I concluded he most probably was killed for poaching a wild boar on a ranch he should have avoided. Also meaning adult male Amur tigers take territories serious. Subadults and young adults no doubt know they have to be careful, but rangers find their remains more often than one would expect. 

In India and, in particular, Nepal, territories of adult male tigers, as a result of the excellent conditions, usually are quite small. In spite of that, they include 1-6 tigresses. In the Russian Far East, territories are larger. Male Amur tigers need a large territory, because the density of prey animals is much lower than in India and Nepal. This could be the reason wild male Amur tigers are very strict about tresspassers and poachers as well. They do, however, seem to distinguish between their own kin and others. Tiger 'Odyr', for example, allowed his subadult son in his territory for quite a long time and my guess is he was allowed to feed on the male bear 'Odyr' killed as well. 

In the Russian Far East, most territories have 1-2 tigresses only. Male tigers and tigresses seem to have a strong bond. Remember I'm not only referring to tigress 'Rachelle' and tiger 'Ochkarik'. Could it be principles (referring to ownership, family and bonds) are more important in regions where tigers face a lot of problems? Is this what Vaillant ('The tiger', J. Vaillant, 2011) was referring to when he wrote:

" ... A more useful way to understand the tiger's capacity for vengeful behavior may be in the context of territory and property, i.e., prey. As they are with human hunters, these are hard to separate in the tiger's mind. Tigers, particularly males, are well known for their intense and reflexive possessiveness; it is a defining characteristic, and it exerts a powerful influence on their behavior, particularly when it comes to territory, mates, and food. Both males and females can be ferocious boundary keepers, but a male will guard his domain as jealously as any modern gangster or medieval lord. An Amur tiger's sense of superiority and dominance over his realm is absolute: because of his position in the forest hierarchy, the only force a male will typically submit to is a stronger tiger or, occasionally, a large brown bear. Nothing else ranks in the taiga ... "  ('The tiger', pp. 139-140). 

Here's another quote:

" ... In general, animals (including tigers) avoid conflicts whenever possible because fighting hurts, and the margins in the wild are simply too tight. Most predators ... will abandon a contested kill rather than risk an injury. But tigers are different: when dealing with its subjects, the male Amur tiger can be vicious, shrewd, and vindictive. In addition to his Herod-like response to other cubs and young males, he may even kill his own. Based on the observations of hunters and biologists, it appears that Amur tigers will occasionally kill bears solely on something that we might recognize as principle ... " ('The tiger', pp. 140). 

One more about young adult males: 

" ... In any case, it can require several years of this dangerous, liminal existence before a male tiger acquires the skill - and the will -  to stake out and defend his own territory. But as strong and able as he may be, the battle for that territory - even if he wins it - can leave him grievously injured. So lethally designed are these animals that a battle between them can be compared to a hand grenade contest: there is virtually no way to come away from that combination of points, blades, and combustive energy without incurring serious damage. In short, the gauntlet of trials and initiations a male tiger must endure is long, arduous, and deadly, and the survivors are truly formidable specimens ... " ('The tiger', pp. 132-133). 

Wild Amur tigers are different from other tiger subspecies. The main reason is bears. In the Russian Far East, bears are everywhere. They have a great nose and use this tool to find tiger kills. Most of the time, they use a kill when the owner is not present, but male brown bears in particular are sometimes willing to confront a tiger on his kill. If a tiger decides to give way, he has to kill again. It's also quite likely the displacer will try again. If a tiger, in other words, isn't prepared to defend his kill, chances are he'll face energy deficits sooner or later. Wild Amur tigers, for this reason, have no option but to learn how to deal with bears. Over time, this development will result in an animal willing and able to deal with bears. Hunting them is the next step in this development.   

According to the trainers I interviewed, captive male Amur tigers are confident animals interested in other animals. They have a great memory, are able to distinguish between individuals and also seem to be quite involved in calculations of some kind. This is the reason many trainers change their act quite often. In contrast to most male lions, male Amur tigers do not enter a fight just because the opportunity is there. A fight nearly always is a result of something personal.  

The captive Amur tigers I saw were different from other subspecies in that they're not that interested in humans. Keepers who decide for bonding often pay in some way or another. There are many examples. In this respect, Amur tigers compare to male lions. The difference between them is lions are more 'open' about it. Aggression really is a very personal, and often hidden, thing in Amur tigers. Trainers told me they're always working at it.  

Somewhere in the nineties of the last century, 7 adult Amur tigers were introduced to the press in a Dutch facility. The act of which they had been part was abandoned after the trainer had been killed by one of the male tigers during a show. The back of their cage wagon faced the back of another cage wagon, located about 30 yards away. I wasn't aware of that wagon, but the tigers were. All 7 stood on their hind legs facing the cage wagon they couldn't see and all of them were focused. In order to find out a bit more, I walked to the back side of the cage wagon and positioned myself between both wagons. It was very quiet in the space between both wagons. No sound whatsoever. And yet. If I told you I could 'sense' energy flowing from one wagon to another, you would no doubt dismiss it as nonsense. But that's what I felt. The target of this energy was a large male brown bear nervously walking his cage. I told the director of the facility, but he didn't take it very serious. A few weeks later, the bear, still nervous, woke up during a medical treatment and nearly succeeded in escaping the room. Not long after this incident, he was relocated. 

Typical for the way captive Amur tigers and brown bears interact? I don't know, but the trainers I interviewed told me incidents between Amur tigers and brown bears are not very rare. Most of them, for good reasons, were not reported.                  

Male brown bears   

I read a number of interestiing articles and books in which brown bears were discussed at length. I also saw a number of videos. Some of them were about Bart Schleyer, a biologist who was involved in the Siberian Tiger Project. After he had left, he continued to visit wild regions on his own every now and then. The last time he did, in the fall of 2004, he selected a region in the northwestern part of Canada, close to Alaska. He never returned. Although his remains were found 3 weeks after he left, his death still is a mystery. 

I read a lot of comments and stories, but this overview stood out. Pay attention to the remarks about bears: 
Brown bears have a territory, but those who studied them call it a home range. It's not vigorously defended, but a bear will protect it's personal space. Males in particular walk a lot. They're here, there and everywhere. Although it may seem different, they are quite aware of other animals. And humans. I don't think they see them as competitors, but as opportunities. That is to say, in the Yukon. Could be a result of the character of the region. It's large, empty and wild and bears adapted. In the Yukon, brown bears are considered dangerous. They're smart, elusive, silent and capable of surprising even experienced biologists and woodsmen.    

Most who know about the specific conditions in the Yukon think Schleyer was killed by a bear, but those who knew him intimately disagree. One reason is Schleyer was as experienced as they come. Another is they never found a cache. They did, however, find a lot of bear droppings.       

Inland grizzly's have a bad reputation, but Ussuri brown bears do not seem to lack in this department. I recently read 'Human injuries and fatalities caused by brown bears in Russia, 1932-2017', Kudrenko (S) et al., 2020. In the period 1991-2017, " ... bear-caused injuries and fatalities (264 records) occurred more often on the Pacific Coast (111 incidents) and in Siberia (109 incidents) than in European Russia (44 incidents) ... ". In that period, " ... the percentages of fatalities were not significantly different among the areas; 39% in European Russia, 49% in Siberia and 50% on the Pacific Coast ... " (from the abstract). 

The percentages, however, are significantly different when the size of the (human) population of the three regions is considered. European Russia has about 133 million people, whereas the Pacific Coast has just over 5 million. The conclusion is bears are more aggressive and more dangerous in empty regions in general and in the Russian Far East in particular. One of the maps showed most incidents on the Pacific Coast happened in Sichote-Alin. This is the region where Ussuri brown bears and Amur tigers coexist. In an email to a member of the former AVA Forum, Pikunov said he lost many collegues to bears. 
In the department of intelligence, bears and tigers more or less compare. The difference between both is tigers are carnivores, whereas bears are omnivores. Carnivores usually do not need a lot of time to solve problems in the food department, but this is not the case for large omnivores like bears. They need their abilities to solve food-related problems each and every day. This is why they are more opportunistic when foraging. Tigers, on the other hand, use their ability to learn about the territory they occupy. 

7h5 - About specific incidents and literature

In the previous century, biologists working in the Russian Far East often wrote about interactions and fights between Amur tigers and Ussuri brown bears. Most of the information they had was unique, because they went out there themselves. Some incidents that stood out were mentioned and discussed in 'Die Säugetiere der Sowjet-Union', Band III, Raubtiere, Heptner (VG) and Sludskij (AA), 1980 (referring to the German translation). One of the best books I read. 

Amur tigers and Ussuri brown bears didn't quit interacting after, say, 1992, but detailed descriptions of specific incidents no longer reach peer-reviewed documents and books. The reason is the character of biology changed, because the world, and the object of biology, changed. I'm not saying interactions between both species are considered irrelevant by most biologists, but the focus now is on issues of a different nature.  

Science no longer is a safe haven for those interested in very specific knowledge about very specific phenomena in very specific regions. Today, it is considered as a (reliable) tool to reach a specific goal in a specific period of time. The goal today is conservation. The reason is we seem to have entered yet another phase in the development towards total destruction. Amur tigers are by no means the only animals facing extinction. The list is depressingly long. 

One could conclude the shift in paradigm resulted in a loss of specific information about specific phenomena and be close, but it also is a fact that the shift resulted in more research, more knowledge, more reserves, more protection, more cooperation, more awareness and, as a result, more tigers. For now. 

Those involved in dismissing good information collected by competent, experienced and reliable biologists with access to good information can, of course, always decide to dismiss specific incidents if it suits their agenda, but this attitude can only result in a distorted view of reality. Also remember incidents of this nature (referring to fights between male tigers and male brown bears) are few and far between. Furthermore, those who witnessed them often were on their own. Not a topic one would like to discuss in a peer-reviewed document, that is.  

7h6 - About the incidents that happened in 2017 and 2022
Adult male tigers and adult male brown bears usually avoid each other, but there's some evidence male tigers in particular sometimes decide for a confrontation. The question is why. The answer is we don't know. My guess is it's personal in most cases. The large male brown bear that robbed tigress 'Rachelle' for a considerable period of time no doubt was considered a threat by the tigress. After she had informed 'Ochkarik', the father of her cubs, the bear (apparently) also visited the kills of 'Ochkarik' for some time. Following Vaillant (see 7h4), it's likely the male tiger considered him a tresspasser and a poacher. One that posed a very real threat to the cubs of 'Rachelle' on top of that. The big bear clearly didn't respect the family. 

There's not much information about the male brown bear recently killed in Bolshekhtsirsky, but it is known tigress 'Zlata' had cubs. It's also known tigers struggled last year, because their favourite prey animal, the wild boar, had been decimated as a result of a disease. It can't be excluded tiger 'Odyr' was followed by the bear and decided to confront him for that reason, but it's also possible he considered the bear an opportunity.   

It is assumed both male bears (see above) were killed by male tigers, but I read a quite recent article about a male tiger ('Boris') hunting adult bears with a tigress. A few decades earlier, also in Bolshekhtsirsky (...), Tkachenko wrote about a male tiger and a tigress hunting bears together. Although those who found the bear in the buffer zone of Bolshekhtsirsky in November 2022 think tiger 'Odyr' acted on his own, tigress 'Zlata' might have assisted. It would explain the prints with a heel width of about 10 cm found near the bear (the heel width of tiger 'Odyr' is 11 cm, whereas the heel width of tigress 'Zlata' is 10 cm).            

7h7 - About messengers and respect
During the discussion (referring to the exchange of views after our member 'Nyers' posted a report about a male brown bear killed by a male tiger in Bolshekhtsirsky in November 2022), I've read a number of posts about this topic in 'Domain of the bears' . In nearly all of them, (conclusions of) specialists (referring to biologists, rangers and directors of organisations) were dismissed out of hand. Remember we're talking about very experienced and motivated people who know about, and love, the outdoors. They improve their knowledge by following courses, talking to each other and by reading. Furthermore, they walk a lot in wild country and no doubt saw things we will never see.  

Here's a few questions for those involved in the dismissals and insults. You read books about tigers and bears in the Russian Far East? Articles? You still able to walk a few miles? Say 5? And what about 10 in deep snow? And 15 in hill country in winter? Not once a month, but every day in periods reserves have to be patrolled. Ever caught a poacher that had to do time because of you? Not a few of them will remember you. They might try to get even. Exceptional, you say? You heard about the man who warned the world about the results of poaching when Amur tigers were very close to extinction (referring to the thirties and forties of the last century)? Lev Kaplanov was shot by poachers and he wasn't the only one. Any idea about the number of rangers shot every year in reserves and national parks all over the globe? 

What I'm saying is these people deserve respect. Lots of it. Don't use them when the information they collect suits your agenda and don't dismiss them when they get to conclusions not to your liking. When discussions erupt, don't allow preference to take over. Use, and develop, the top floor. Check information and do it again. Introduce logic. Have a look at the fundamentals of sound reasoning. Do combinations. Have a look at the number of convictions based on circumstantial evidence and sound reasoning. You really need a body to get to reliable conclusions? 

As to size and (the outcome of) fights. While it's true (a large difference in) size (weight), like, say, 200 pounds, is a factor to consider in some conditions, it isn't in others. Why did all trainers I interviewed underline time and again other factors can be as important, if not more so? They might have a point. Maybe size isn't the only factor to consider when a fight erupts between a big cat and a large bear and maybe adult male brown bears are not completely out of the predatory reach of adult male Amur tigers in some conditions. I didn't add 'when of similar size', because one of the two male bears discussed ('Chlamyda') was as large as they come, whereas the other, judging from the palm width, was an average-sized adult. Both male tigers, average-sized at best, didn't have a scratch. A result of size, of something else?

7h8 - About the last post in the series

Next time, I'll discuss some of the factors that come into play when two wild adult males of both species decide for a serious discussion. That is to say, I'll let others do the talking. I'm referring to those who know a lot more than we do. They wrote about incidents they know of in books, interviews and articles and they talked about their experience, and their opinion, in recent videos. If anything, they should have the last word. In the last post of the series, they will.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member

A very healthy, 200 kg male Amur tiger that was regularly killing dogs and entering human settlements was captured, weighed and released a few days ago in the Primorye region.

Tiger on the loose: a predator that frightened the inhabitants of Primorye was released into the taiga

6 March 2023

*This image is copyright of its original author

Today, the entire Primorsky Territory breathed a sigh of relief. There they caught a dangerous killer, a 200-kilogram tiger, who terrorized the population for almost a year. He has dozens of victims. But as soon as the predator was caught, he was photographed and taken away from the settlements. Now the Red Book animal will be tracked using a GPS collar.

On the trail of an elusive predator

This dangerous predator was caught throughout Primorsky Krai. For more than a year, he kept several settlements at bay, where he constantly came. Here is a predator walking by the hockey rink, here it is chasing someone, running past a person. The tiger always avoided special traps, and domestic dogs became its main prey.

News report and video of the tiger's capture:

Last winter, the tiger killed 27 dogs, and seven more this year. Luckily, no locals have ever crossed paths of the predator. Otherwise it could have ended in tragedy.

The owner of the taiga turned out to be so big that he could hardly fit into the carriage. The sliding sunroof nearly pinched his ear. Before releasing the tiger into the taiga, it was examined at a rehabilitation center for wild animals. This is also a whole operation.

How did you manage to catch a 200-kilogram tiger

The rifle is loaded with sleeping pills. A few minutes later, the tiger falls asleep, and several people on a stretcher carry him to the medical room. The predator is weighed - exactly 200 kilograms.

Even in a sleeping state, a huge tiger with bared fangs looks intimidating. The veterinarians took an X-ray of the paw that fell into the trap. This is such a gentle trap - after it there is swelling, but the bone is not injured.

*This image is copyright of its original author

"Nothing, everything is fine, it's a soft fabric," says the specialist.

After the medical examination, the tiger is loaded back into the box. This time the nose was in danger, but nothing happened.

The owner of the taiga is free

SUVs made their way for several hours into the wilds of the taiga, so that the tiger would definitely not reach the settlement from here. We arrived only in the morning. And here it is, the most crucial moment - the tiger is released into the wild.

“It is 50–80 kilometers to the nearest settlement. This is where the tiger will feel good, fine, and, moreover, he will find a girlfriend here,” says Alexei Surovy, First Deputy Minister of Forestry and Hunting of the Primorsky Territory.

The tiger was given a special collar, just like the rest of the inhabitants of the taiga ever caught. Beacons show the routes of predators. There are no other males in this area, so the tiger should have enough food, and he will not return to settlements.

“Catching by the paw with special traps, although it is the safest way, can still injure the animal. The tiger is over 5 years old and weighs 200 kg, which is more than average. With such dimensions, the risk of injury when falling into a trap increases. With this in mind, it was decided to examine the paw, including using x-rays. Examination showed that the paw was without damage, the edema, which is inevitable during catching, was asleep and everything returned to normal. No other injuries or diseases were found, - clarifies Sergey Aramilev . — Such healthy, literally and figuratively, tigers have never been delivered to a rehabilitation center. For adult animals, getting into an aviary is always a risk, so it was decided to release it back into the forest.”

Read the full report here:

*This image is copyright of its original author

Sergey Aramilev (on the right) measuring the tiger:

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author
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peter Offline
Expert & Researcher
( This post was last modified: 05-12-2023, 07:17 AM by peter )


8 - Introduction and method of posting

This is the last post of the series.  

In the first paragraph, you'll find a few links to videos I found on YouTube. Every video will be briefly discussed. The second paragraph has a few links to books. It also has a few scans of pages of books (or papers) I read. Every book will be briefly discussed. The third paragraph has an overview of all conclusions.

Every time I write a long post, I have to prepare it. I collect the info needed, make notes and start writing. When I'm done for the day, the result, a draft, is stored. This process continues until the post is finished. Before posting it, I read it a couple of times. I edit the post and add a few more tables or pictures. When I'm done, the result is posted. If the post is a long one, I often edit it in the following days.

This method, as you'll understand, takes quite a bit of time. Time I don't have at the moment.  

9 - Recent information about tigers and bears 

A decade ago, reliable information about the way tigers and bears interact in the Russian Far East wasn't easy to find. This was the main reason information collected by biologists and hunters half a century ago was used in most discussions.  

Today, the situation has changed. Biologists seem to be more interested and so are hunters and journalists. If you're interested, you can find a lot of recent information on the internet.  

Our member 'Apex Titan', as you may remember, is kneedeep involved in tigers and bears. He finds new articles, interviews, studies and videos just about every other day. Over here, we're only interested in information authorities consider as accurate and reliable. Apex will continue to inform us when he has a bit of time. 

I'll see you in a few weeks from now.
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Apex Titan Offline
Regular Member
( This post was last modified: 05-22-2023, 05:47 PM by Apex Titan )

Here's two videos I recently found about tigers and bears.

1st video: A large male Himalayan black bear avoids an encounter with a smaller tigress near a scent marking tree.

2nd video: A male brown bear that is unable to sleep in an area with tigers.

Although bears (both black & brown bears) are common prey for adult male tigers in particular, recent research (2015-2023) shows that even tigresses are quite active at hunting bears. The juvenile tigress Fillipa, at age only 2.5 years old, actively hunted and killed Himalayan black bears. David Attenborough's recent documentary 'Frozen Planet ll' captured footage of a tigress hunting for bears. The juvenile tigress Elena also hunted and killed a bear. There are also documented cases of tigresses killing adult male black bears, as well as many other cases of tigresses actively hunting and killing bears.

Biologist Bromlei found the partially eaten carcass of a 170 kg adult brown bear that was killed and eaten by a tigress. The bear was significantly heavier than its killer. We know the killed brown bear was an adult bear because Bromlei, the biologist who found the killed bear, reported this specific case in his 1965 publication on bears (Chapter: Parasites, Enemies and the Competitors) in which he talks about tigers being the enemy and predator of adult bears in the Russian Far East.

Bromlei states: "To the enemies of adult bears in the south of the Far East of the USSR one should add the essence of the tiger."...

In the same context/paragraph Bromlei adds: 

"In the beginning of May 1951 on the bank of Tatibe River (Iman tributary) based on the cry of crows was possible to find the brown bear (length of 158 cm, the weight of approximately 170 kg), slaughtered by a tigress. All the fatty body parts proved to be eaten: back, hams and the accumulation of fat in the inguinal region. Within 10 m besides the eaten corpse were the excrements, urinary trails, even three lairs of the tigress, that was being held here for approximately 3-4 days."

Also, the renowned zoologist Mazak in his book: 'Der Tiger' also mentioned that the 170 kg brown bear killed and eaten by the tigress, was a full-grown adult bear. In addition, in an international scientific peer-reviewed journal Acta Societatis Zoologicae Bohemicae it also reported that the 170 kg brown bear was an 'adult brown bear' killed by the tigress.

It is well known and observed that full-grown adult (both sexes) Himalayan black bears, due to active predation by tigers, are terrified of tigers and avoid encounters with them. But do large male black bears (which are significantly bigger than tigresses) fear and avoid the smaller tigresses?  This video and the comments from the Amur Tiger Center strongly suggest they do.

Usually adult bears, especially large males like this bear, will stay at scent marking trees and mark their scent, but this particular Himalayan bear very briefly sniffs the tree and decides to move on. Some days earlier, a tigress had marked her scent on this same tree. We know that even the largest male black bears, which weigh 200+kg, fall prey to tigers (Kerley, 2011, Kolchin, 2022), so it makes sense that this large male black bear avoided an encounter with the tigress - his natural predator. Thus avoids possibly getting killed and eaten.

Notice that this bear clearly looks significantly more massive and heavier than this tigress, and in spite of his larger size, he avoided her.

Amur Tiger Center states:

"A Himalayan bear next to the marking tree where the Amur tigress had marked nine days earlier."

"The white-breasted decides not to stay near the tree for a long time, in case the striped hostess will return soon."

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

Nine days earlier, a tigress scent marked the same tree:

"An Amur tigress makes scent marks on a marking tree in the Call of the Tiger National Park in Primorsky Krai, October 2022."

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

*This image is copyright of its original author

Video of the Himalayan bear:

Video of the tigress:

This video shows a male brown bear in the Khingan Reserve (Amur region) that is unable to sleep. The Amur Tiger Center suggests that the bear may not be able to sleep because he's possibly thinking about a tiger walking somewhere nearby.

Amur Tiger Center states:

In the Khingan Reserve in the Amur Region, a brown bear decided to sleep, but something constantly interfered with him. This was in August 2022.

Everything started out perfect. The clubfoot found a secluded place next to a fallen tree, dug a small hole and comfortably lay down in it. The cool damp earth literally takes the form of his body and it seems that the beast begins to fall asleep.

But for some reason it did not work, and the male began to toss and turn. It is possible that he can’t sleep because he's thinking about a Amur tiger walking somewhere nearby. Or he remembered some very berry-filled place and thinks that he needs to get there before his competitors. There are many options that could discourage the bear from sleeping.

As a result, the bear's suffering continues for more than two hours, during which the bear changes several positions (the staff of the reserve counted 9) and, without falling asleep soundly, leaves.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Video of the male brown bear:

A male brown bear sleeping out in the open like this, would be a sitting duck for a tiger. It's likely he couldn't sleep and moved on because he sensed the presence of tigers in the area. And sleeping out in the open in an area with tigers, makes the bear very vulnerable to tiger attacks. 

Note that this happened in the summer of August 2022, in a period where tigers primarily (and actively) hunt bears. Recent scientific studies show that Amur tigers mainly hunt bears during the summer and autumn months, and in some areas and regions, bears (both black & brown bears) are more important in the tigers diet than even wild boar or red deer. And adult bears are often killed and eaten. As to adult bears being hunted, the evidence, field observations made by various biologists and kill-sites confirm that tigers successfully prey on the largest and healthiest adult female brown bears, the largest male black bears, and at times, even large male brown bears are hunted and killed.

I've never heard of a bear not being able to fall asleep because he's thinking of some very "berry-filled place". That makes no sense. It makes much more sense that he was either thinking about or sensed the presence of his natural predator - Amur tigers in the area. Especially considering all the factors mentioned above.
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( This post was last modified: 05-28-2023, 08:21 PM by Apex Titan )

A new recent documentary (April 6, 2023) about Amur tigers entering human settlements, attacking and killing people, dogs and livestock. The documentary features some of Russia's leading tiger experts like Alexander Batalov, Sergey Kolchin, Yuri Kolpak, Yuri Nikolayevich Vankov and others.

One of the Russian tiger experts / ranger Yuri Vankov who works with the Amur Tiger Center, says some very interesting and fascinating remarks about the Amur tigers huge size, immense strength, power and killing abilities. He also talks about tigers vs bears.

Tiger vs Bear

In the documentary, the Russian tiger expert Yuri Vankov (pictured below) states that the main food of tigers is wild boar, red deer and bears. He also states that both the Himalayan and brown bears are hunted and eaten, and as a rule, the tiger defeats the brown bear in a fight. Which again confirms that tigers not only kill adult brown bears by ambush, but also kill adult brown bears in head-on fights, in which, according to the observations of experienced biologists, hunters, naturalists, locals & rangers, the tiger usually dominates. In the Khabarovsk Krai, bears make-up 13% of the tigers annual diet.

Back in 2021, Sergey Aramilev (General Director of the Amur Tiger Center), referring to fights between tigers and brown bears, stated: "An adult male tiger will always kill any bear, but a young tiger or female can lose to a large male brown bear."  

Yuri Dunishenko (senior researcher & field biologist) also stated: "A very large bear has a better chance against a tigress or small (young) tiger. When meeting a large adult tiger, the bear already has fewer chances."

Aramilev and Dunishenko's statement was also backed up by the recent case of the moderate-sized male tiger 'Odyr' who annihilated a large adult male brown bear in a fight. The killed male brown bear was specifically noted to be of "impressive-size" and was significantly larger than his killer. The tiger was not injured in the fight.

Here, you can see and hear straight from the mouth of an expert authority on wild Amur tigers. A man with a lot of knowledge about wild Amur tigers, their ecology, predatory behaviour, feeding habits etc.....

"The main food is wild boar, then roe deer, red deer, and bears."

"Can a tiger kill a bear? - Yes. 13% of the diet is bear meat. White-breasted (Himalayan) for one or two. Brown bear, in principle, there were cases when both predators died, but as a rule, a tiger in a fight with a (brown) bear comes out the winner."

"A large predator (tiger) is 250-300 kg of muscle mass. There's no grease, nothing. There are only muscles. There is crazy power."

Go to 22:33 in the video: (This video has clear English subtitles translation)

This forest inspector, ranger & tiger expert - Yuri Nikolayevich Vankov, works with the Amur Tiger Center and Yuri Kolpak:

*This image is copyright of its original author

In addition, Pavel Fomenko, a game biologist and one of Russia's leading tiger experts, stated this in his new book: "Kiss of the Tiger."

"A tiger can fight with a brown and white-breasted bear and will most likely defeat them, and for dessert this versatile predator will not disdain a mouse or a frog."

The author of the book is a game biologist Pavel Fomenko, chief coordinator of biodiversity conservation projects at the Amur branch of WWF Russia. For his merits in the protection of the Amur tigers, Pavel, the only Russian, was awarded the title "Hero of the Planet" by Time magazine.

Most experts (biologists, zoologists, rangers, hunters etc) strongly favour the tiger over a large brown bear in a fair fight. Their opinions and conclusions are based on their own field experiences and observations, as well as accounts from their fellow colleagues, local Russian hunters and native peoples.

Bears are one of the Amur tigers favourite prey items. In the Khabarovsk territories, bears are heavily predated on by tigers and large bears are also killed. Sometimes, tiger attacks on large bears turn into a face-to-face fight, in which in general, the tiger defeats, kills and eats the bear. 
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