Contrary to popular belief, Vladimir Putin’s favorite birthday present was not the death of a journalist this year, but rather a tiger cub. That said, he is rather fond of shooting them… From the Associated Press:
State television showed the Russian prime minister tenderly petting the 2-month-old female cub on Friday at his residence outside Moscow. The cub, weighing only about 20 pounds, was curled up in a wicker basket with a tiger-print cushion. Putin said a good home will be found for the tiger, presumably in a zoo or wildlife preserve. He hasn’t decided what to call her, but is leaning toward Mashenka or Milashka. Putin refused to say who gave him the cub for his 56th birthday, which was Tuesday. He called Russian journalists to his country home late Thursday without telling them why. Past midnight, after asking them “not to make noise, make a clatter or squeal,” Putin ushered the curious journalists into the room where the tiger cub was waiting.
Could be worse, right?