A hunter has told how he fought off a wounded Siberian tiger by wedging his arm in the beast’s jaw to stop the predator ‘going for my neck’.
Dmitry Korchevsky, 39, said he wrestled with the endangered wild animal for ten minutes – but now he faces a probe into whether he had been poaching the rare big cat when he was attacked.
The Russian man came across the tiger as he checked forest traps he had set for sable, he claimed.
‘It lay under a cedar, preparing to jump at me. I took two steps back and shot three times,’ he said from hospital.
Dmitry Korchevsky (pictured) said he wrestled with the endangered wild animal for ten minutes
‘He pounced on me, and tore my hand and head.’
Korchevsky told how the tiger ‘was gnawing at me for ten minutes.
‘Trying to protect myself, I stuffed his jaw with my arms – so that he didn’t get to my neck…
‘My left arm his badly bitten, it now doesn’t move…
‘He bit my right arm around the elbow and ripped my scalp off.
‘He was biting me with all the might he had left in him….
‘Then he died on me. I climbed out from underneath him and saw him dead…’
Now he faces a probe into whether he had been poaching the rare big cat when he was attacked. Above, a Siberian tiger seen closer to the road earlier this month
His three gun shots eventually proved fatal.
‘I crawled away from him and for as long as I had strength in my legs, I walked towards my home.’
He trudged wounded for almost six miles – blood pouring from his cuts – before getting in mobile coverage, so he could summon a friend to help him and take him to hospital.
‘I didn’t stop for a minute, even though I was in pain because of wounds.
‘I was scared that if I was to stop even momentarily, I’d freeze to death from blood loss.
‘He almost ate away my left arm, it’s bitten all over now, I don’t feel it and can’t move it.’
The hunter is ‘badly wounded’ but will survive the attack.
He trudged wounded for almost six miles – blood pouring from his cuts – before getting in mobile coverage, so he could summon a friend to help him and take him to hospital
However, Russian hunting officials are now checking his account amid suspicions that he was a poacher seeking to slay one of only 500 or so of this endangered species still living in the wild, reported The Siberian Times.
Siberian tigers are the largest big cats in the world, and their skins fetch huge sums on the black market, as do their organs valued by the Chinese for traditional potency cures.
Korchevsky claimed there was blood under the cedar tree where the tiger lay in wait for him – indicating a poacher had earlier wounded the predator.
Checks are now to be made at the site in the Olginsky district of Primorsky region, in then Russian Far East.
The hunter is ‘badly wounded’ but will survive the attack after receiving treatment in hospital. File photo
Hunting control officer Dmitry Pankratov said: ‘How did this happen? What exactly was this man doing there? Why did the tiger attack him?
‘There might be all sorts of circumstances as to what happened, but we have not had tigers attacking humans like this for a very long time.
‘This is not a kind of an animal that just jumps on a man like this.
‘Tigers are incredibly cautious, they have to be seriously provoked to attack.’
The type of wounds on the tiger’s body, and traces at the site, will help the experts figure out exactly what happened.
If suspected of poaching, the wounded man will face criminal charges.
The case echoes another ten minute fight with a Siberian tiger faced last year by a woman keeper at Kaliningrad zoo.
Mother of three Nadezhda Srivastava, 44, also used her arms to stop the tiger going for her neck.
Horrific footage showed the attack.
Eventually onlookers made such a commotion that the tiger retreated.
She said: ‘I needed to concentrate as much as possible to try somehow to control the predator’s every movement .
‘He had badly torn my arm, it hurt terribly.
‘I began to push him back with my foot, but he bit into my leg, ripping off off my boot.
‘When I turned unsuccessfully – he sank his teeth into my the back.’