Each fall marks the annual celebration of “Tiger Day” in cities and villages throughout tiger range in Russia, giving participants the opportunity to commemorate one of the Far East’s most vibrant living symbols, and to learn about tigers and threats to their conservation. In mid-September hundreds of children and adults attended the festivities in the small village of Terney, base for the Siberian Tiger Project and located in the heart of Amur tiger range. Tiger Day in Vladivostok attracted the attention of national and international celebrities.
Tiger Day has been celebrated in Vladivostok since 2000, and has since expanded to villages and towns throughout Primorsky Krai, Russia’s most southeastern region, which contains the majority of remaining Amur tiger habitat. This year the Primorsky Krai government recognized Tiger Day as an official regional holiday. Tiger Day was celebrated for the third time in Terney in mid-September, with the attendance of local residents, Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, WCS and the Siberian Tiger Project staff, and hundreds of children from schools throughout the Terney District. Participants formed teams to compete for a series of prizes, and the holiday concluded with a parade through town.
In Vladivostok Tiger Day is traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday in September. This year over 2000 school-children and adults marched through downtown to the city’s main square, where they participated in contests and games about the Amur tiger and the Far Eastern taiga forest, enjoyed a day-long concert, and interacted with representatives of conservation organizations active in the region. This year’s festivities in Vladivostok were marked by an appearance from Nikolai Drozdov, the celebrity host of the Russian television show “In the Animal World,” and by the attendance of representatives of the World Bank (Moscow), Save the Tiger Fund (Washington, DC), and the Russian rock band Mumyi Troll.
Tiger Day is organized by the Russian NGO Phoenix Fund, with support from the Primorsky regional government, Vladivostok local government, WCS Russia, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and the Far Eastern Development Fund “AzArt.”