Federal subject : Irkutsk Oblast
The present arms were adopted on October 31, 1996.
The arms show a beaver-like animal holding a sable-fox skin.
The animal is the result of an 19th century mis-translation of the word 'babr', which in the local dialect meant a Siberian Tiger.
The oldest arms of Irkutsk were granted on February 18, 1690 and confirmed on October 26, 1790 and showed a running tiger holding a sable-fox skin. The composition is probably derived from an old Yakut legend.
In 1878 the Irkutsk governorate was granted arms based on the city arms. However, at the time the word 'babr' was no longer in use and it was interpreted as 'bobr', meaning beaver. The arms of the governorate (see Irkutsk Oblast) thus showed a beaver holding a skin, which from a biological point of view is very unlogical.
The present arms are still show a beaver, although many inhabitants would prefer the historical tiger.
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© since 1995, Heraldry of the World, Ralf Hartemink
Literature : Information from Victor Lomantzov.