Watch: Vladivostok turns orange for Tiger Day

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Watch: Vladivostok turns orange for Tiger Day
Copyright  Reuters

Thousands of Russians marched down the central streets of Vladivostok on Sunday to mark Tiger Day.

Children wearing yellow and orange t-shirts, adults carrying orange balloons and park rangers in tiger-print SUVs all took part in the parade held in the city every year to raise awareness of the plight of the Amur tiger, which is on the brink of extinction.

Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, mainly live in Russia's Far East, northeast China and northern parts of the Korean Peninsula. It is one of the world's most endangered species, with less than 500 believed to remain in the wild.

The Far East has been marking Tiger Day for 20 years, as the population continues to shrink due to poaching. The crowd marching down the city's main street also carried a giant paper phoenix, the symbol of a local ecological organisation, as local school children beat drums and chanted: "Beat your drum louder, tell the world: We are children of our planet and we are responsible for it!"

Ecologists say that 30 to 40 tigers are being killed in the Russian taiga every year, despite their conservation efforts. The animals are often exported to China, where their bones and body parts are used in traditional medicine, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported. Tiger hides can also reach up to $25,000 (€22,855) on the black market.