After jaunt to China Putin's tiger back home

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A Siberian tiger released into the wild by Russian President Vladimir Putin was back on home soil after spending two months in China, experts said Wednesday.

Heilongjiang Provincial Forestry Department received information from the Russian side on Tuesday that tracking devices showed that the tiger, Kuzya, was back in Russia, an employee from the wildlife conservation department told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Russian experts rescued five tiger cubs about two years ago and Putin released three of them in May. Kuzya was found to have wandered into Jiayin County in Heilongjiang in October, exploring an area as large as 2,200 square kilometers.

"Kuzya is very likely to visit China again as it marked the areas he visited with his urine, designating his 'territory'," said Zhang Minghai, vice director of the State Forestry Administration's Feline Research Center.

"China has a sound forest ecosystem and plenty of food," said Zhang.

Kuzya did not avoid roads or villages but never ate domestic animals, he said.

It is estimated that there are only 600 Siberian tigers left in the wild, less than 30 of those are in China.

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