Olga was the first animal captured by the staff of the Siberian Tiger Project, a cooperative research and conservation program between the Wildlife Conservation (WCS) and Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik. Radio-collared when she was just a year-old near the village of Terney, her movements and life history were closely monitored for much of her life. She spent her entire life in a 500-square kilometer (approximately 200 square-mile) swath of forest north of Terney in the Russian Far East, giving birth to six litters totaling at least 13 cubs, six of which survived.
"To our knowledge, Olga is the oldest, and the most intensively studied tiger in the world," said Dale Miquelle, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Russia Program, and one of the people who first radio-collared Olga. For many of us, Olga was a symbol of the tiger's resilience and capacity to live side by side with humans. It was a privilege to be able to observe for such a long period, and it's a shame that we could not have followed her longer to witness a more dignified death from old age."
The collar that Olga wore transmitted a regular beeping signal that biologists used to track her movements. Since January, however, they have been unable to locate her signal despite extensive aerial and ground searches over an area of about 10,000 square kilometers (3,800 square miles).
Staff of the Siberian Tiger Project have documented many cases in which lost signals from radio collars are a result of poachers killing the tiger and then destroying the collar. If Olga has met this same fate, it is not an unusual one for tigers in the Russ
Contact: Stephen Sautner
Wildlife Conservation Society