Putin reportedly saves TV crew from tiger Sure-shot prime minister's bravery is hailed by Russian media updated 17 minutes ago http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26493825/ MOSCOW - He's driven a big truck, flown in a Russian fighter jet and fished shirtless on national television. Now comes Vladimir Putin's latest image-boosting escapade, a visit to a Russian wildlife preserve that gave him the chance to wear camouflage, stalk through the woods and shoot a tiger — all for a good cause. According to Russian media reports, Putin, taking a break from lambasting the West over Georgia, was visiting the Ussuriisky Nature Reserve in the far east of Russia to see how researchers monitor the tigers in the wild. Story continues below ↓advertisement Just as Putin was arriving with a group of wildlife specialists to see a trapped Amur tiger, it escaped and ran toward a nearby camera crew, the country's main television station said. Putin quickly shot the beast and sedated it with a tranquilizer gun. "Vladimir Putin not only managed to see the giant predator up close but also saved our television crew too," a presenter on Rossiya television said at the start of the main evening news. Fewer than 400 Ussuri tigers — also known as Siberian, Amur or Manchurian tigers — are believed to survive in the wild, most of them in Russia and some in China. They are the largest tiger species, weighing up to 600 pounds. russians sure have the propaganda machine cranked up.