In July we celebrate International Tiger Day which was started at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 when world leaders met with the intention of bringing the world’s focus to tiger conservation.
This was not the first Tiger Day. Tiger Day in Russia began in 2000 when Phoenix Fund continued the idea that Vladimir Troynin, a children’s writer and gamekeeper, had to celebrate this holiday in remote village schools. Phoenix Fund wanted to bring this idea to a much wider audience and this became a reality with the involvement of the Vladivostok City Administration in collaboration with the Far Eastern branch of WWF.
In 2001, Tiger Day in Russia was officially announced as a city festival and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joined the Festival Organizing Committee. Over the intervening years, the festival has grown enormously, so much so that it is now held over two days.
These two days highlight the most burning issues of tiger conservation and engage people in working towards securing the Amur tiger’s future in the wild. The celebrations in Vladivostok usually start with a carnival procession which last year involved 15,000 people, many dressed as tigers! At the city’s central square theatrical performances, contests and entertainment engage people directly in the issues surrounding coexistence with this top predator.
This year towns and cities across the Russian Far East plan to celebrate on 26th-27th September and we wait to see in what form the parades and festivals can take in the light of the current pandemic. Phoenix Fund and the other organisers have been making contingency plans to take the festival online if mass gatherings are cancelled.
Please support the Amur tiger and the people of this region and help us raise funds for projects like Phoenix Fund that we support in the Russian Far East.