People, Environment

Amur Tiger’s Glanders Test Negative

Amur Tiger’s Glanders Test NegativeAmur Tiger’s Glanders Test Negative

Although not officially announced, the results of the first round of glanders test on the quarantined Amur tiger indicate the animal does not suffer from the disease.

Speaking to IRNA, Majid Kharrazian, director of the Wildlife and Biodiversity Office at the DOE, said the blood sample was tested at the mycobacterium reference laboratory at Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute in Karaj, Alborz Province.

Reference labs are usually private, commercial facilities that do high volume routine and specialty testing.

In 2010, the former administration in Tehran was involved in a swap with Russia, which saw two Amur tigers – also known as Siberian tigers - brought to Iran in exchange for two Persian leopards as part of an ambitious scheme to revive the big cats.  

In December 2010, the male tiger died of glanders in a zoo in western Tehran, which prompted officials to quarantine the female to perform tests for the disease.

The first sampling was conducted on Nov. 18 in the presence of representatives from Iran’s Veterinary Organization, DOE, Health Ministry, Tehran University’s Veterinary Faculty and Eram Zoo. The remaining three tests are expected to be performed in 21, 90, and 180-day intervals. The final sampling is scheduled for April 15, 2016.

All tests are scheduled to be carried out in Iran, the IVO believes that reference laboratories abroad, namely in Germany or Italy, might be used for other tests.

The IVO, environmentalists and animal rights groups have claimed that the tiger’s living space in Tehran is inappropriate and it has to be transferred. The DOE has pledged to transfer the animal to a more appropriate facility in less than 48 hours after the final test result is announced.

The Siberian or Amur tiger is a tiger subspecies which roamed east and central Asia and the east of Russia, but today lives only in a protected area in the east of Siberia.

It is the largest subspecies of tiger, the largest of the family of cats and the closest to the extinct Caspian tiger. Recent genetic research categorizes them under the same subspecies.