Amur tigers are the latest trend in Russia, partly inspired by President Vladimir Putin’s campaign for the endangered species. Tara Cleary reports.
THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 Russia has a new favorite animal. Inspired in part by President Vladimir Putin's love of the endangered cats, the Amur tiger is enjoying renewed fame. On the Crimean Peninsula, the Ukrainian territory recently annexed by Russia, a safari park is raising 10 tiger cubs. Director of the park, Oleg Zubkov talks about their plans. SOUNDBITE: Oleg Zubkov, director of the safari park, saying (Russian): "We believe, that Amur tigers will someday be released to the wild of eastern Russian. And we're actively participating in this program." Even the world's longest-running children's TV series, "Goodnight, Little Ones" is welcoming a new tiger character. The production company celebrated with a guest appearance by a real Amur tiger cub. There are reportedly only around 360 tigers left in the wilds of Russia and programs like this one in Crimea aim to boost the diminished population.