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Amur Tiger Shot Dead in Far East Reserve

The park's deputy security director, Yevgeny Stoma, inspecting the dead tiger.

Inspectors from a nature reserve in Russia's Far East have found the body of a dead Amur tiger that appears to have been shot by poachers and left near a highway, the park said in a statement.

The adult male tiger was discovered Thursday in Leopard Land park near the border with China. The tiger appears to have been shot a few days ago.

The poachers may have used bright lights to detect and stun the tiger, said Yevgeny Stoma, the park's security director. Most animals become immobilized when high-powered lights are shone in their eyes, making it easier to kill them, he said.

Except for a bullet hole below the right shoulder blade, no other wounds were found on the tiger.

Police have opened an investigation into illegal hunting, an offense that is punishable by up to two years in prison.

The Amur tiger is a highly endangered animal. No more than 500 remain, all of them in the Primorye and Khabarovsk regions. Leopard Land is home to 23 of the tigers.

Earlier this fall, a poacher was tried in the Far East for shooting an Amur tiger and trying to sell its skin.

The World Wildlife Fund said earlier this year that at least 19 Amur tigers had been killed by poachers in Russia since 2012.

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