Sep. 1 - Russian President Vladimir Putin feeds dolphins, greets walruses and watches Amur tigers during his trip to Russia's Far East. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Russian President Vladimir Putin once again demonstrated his affection for animals as he visited an oceanarium on Russky Island in Russia's Far East on Sunday. The oceanarium, still under construction, welcomed the president with a dolphin's show. Putin liked it so much that afterwards he fed the "artists" - two dolphins - with fresh fish. He also visited walruses and even shaked "hands" with one of them. The oceanarium is expected to welcome its first visitors next year. It will house the world's largest covered dolphinarium and also serve as a sea life research center. Later the Russian president visited the center for rehabilitation and reintroduction of tigers and other rare species where he watched two young female Amur tigers being released into the enclosure. The Amur tiger, the world's biggest wild cat, has recently pounced back from the brink of extinction to hit its highest population level for at least 100 years, the WWF said last year. In the past Putin has often demonstrated his interest in animals. He led Siberian cranes on their winter migratory route, helped measure the Amur tiger's incisors before placing a satellite transmitter around the neck of the beast, caught a giant pike.