The star of several documentaries and the first Siberian tiger to be fitted with a radio collar, Olga, is presumed dead. She is thought to have been killed by poachers who then destroyed her radio collar. Olga had been radio-tracked for 13 years, and her movements and life history were closely monitored. “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. Olga spent most of her life outside of protected areas, but never resorted to the killing of domestic livestock.
Olga went missing in January, and extensive searches have not been able to locate the radio-collar’s signal. Lost signals have previously been caused by poachers killing animals and destroying the collars. Of 23 tiger deaths recorded by the Siberian Tiger Project, 17 were caused by poachers. Olga was famous not only for the National Geographic award winning documentary “Tigers in the Snow” but also amongst the people living in the local town of Terney, where her activities were a popular topic of conversation.