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Sable

Sable is one of the most precious types of fur and this exclusive species is the pride of Russia. Beyond the borders of Russia one can find only small numbers of sable in Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China and Korea.

The most valuable fur belongs to the wild Barguzinian Sable. This sable species lives in the north-west of Trans-Baikal, the north-east of the Irkutsk region and in the southern part of Yakutia. Its fur, with smooth resinous-black top hair and blue down, is the most valuable sable fur, this is why this animal is called the tsar of the wild furs.

Sable lives mainly in taiga regions, including the territories from the Middle to the Northern Urals to the shores of The Japanese, Okhotskoye and Bering seas, and also Kamchatka, and The Sakhalin, and Kuril Islands. It lives mainly in cedar forests and also in the upper reaches of mountain rivers. The Sable leads a concealed way of life, and leaves its home only at twilight.

The colour of a sable.s fur depends on its habitat: The colour of the top hair varies from light (yellowish-brown) to almost black and the colour of the down . from yellowish-red to dark-blue. The animal.s body is often covered with light top hair, which produces a greying effect. It is typical of sable to have a distinctive white or orange spot on the neck or spots where fur is of a lighter colour.

Pelts of commercial sables are divided into 10 different types depending on the place where they are hunted and the fur quality - here they are listed in decreasing order of their value: bargusinian, kamchatskij, yakutskij, tobolskij, eniseyskij, sahalinskij, altayskij, tuvinskij, minusinskij and amurskij. Sables of these kinds are thought to correspond to zoological subspecies.

The wild sable can be different in size. The biggest species dwell on the western and eastern borders of the Urals and Kamchatka, where the maximum length of a male animal (from the nose to the tip of the tail) is 53-56 cm. Bargusinian sable, which is the best in colour and fur quality is relatively small: an average male is 42 cm, a female is 38 cm.

The Sable is a settled predator; its hunting territory is from 25 to 700 hectares. Sable usually hunts mouse-like rodents: mostly field-voles but it also hunts coneys and flying squirrels. If we take birds, the animal prefers grouse, wood grouse and nutcrackers. It hunts lizards, snakes, insects, and fish. The Sable quite often attacks animals bigger than itself, Arctic hare and musk-deer for example. Sometimes it hunts smaller animals . Japanese mink and weasel.

The Sable breeds from the middle of June till the beginning of August. There are usually 1-10 cubs in a sable litter. In the wild sable live about 13-17 years.




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