Saving Siberian Tigers in northeast China – Part 1/2

Steven McDonald reports from the Chinese North Korean border. Siberian tigers once roamed this area in the thousands, but as the forest disappeared so did they.

In 2007, it was estimated that 12 wild tigers remained in China’s northeast. This small gene pool has led to genetic deficiencies. The Associated Press reported the tiger could be extinct in a dozen years if left unprotected.

Individual tigers once roamed over a territory of 50 square kilometers or more, but today there isn’t much forest left to support even a few hundred in the wild.

Today, visiting the Siberian tiger park 37 km north of the city of Harbin is recommended unless you are squeamish since live animals are fed to the tigers.

Big Cat News reports that the tiger park sits on almost 400 acres of land and is one of the largest tiger refuges in the world.

A group of Chinese scientists is attempting to save the Siberian tiger and captive breeding has been successful.

The Harbin Tiger Park has more than four hundred. A sister park has about three hundred. In all of China, there are about 2,000 in captivity.

With such a small population, a DNA database is used to avoid losing genetic diversity. Tigers discovered to have flaws are not allowed to mate.

However, the park has a shortage of money. China’s government provides some funding, but the park relies mostly on tourism and ticket sales. It costs more than four million dollars annually to feed the 700 tigers in the two parks.

Continued in Saving Siberian Tigers in Northeast China – Part 2 or discover Tiger Trade leads to Guilin in Southeast China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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4 Responses to Saving Siberian Tigers in northeast China – Part 1/2

  1. says:

    Tigers as well as all other big cats is for ever destroyed like this. They are naturally predators and they should never be captured like this in any form. I understand the will to save them so you can look at them and get amazed. But this is not right, it’s totally against the nature.

    If you do release these animals in wild again they will not fear and stay away from humans as they otherwise do. Tigers are otherwise quite shy big cats hiding in the forests. There is few footages of wild tigers, it’s hard to find them in their natural environment not only because they are few.

    Lack of land in the wild make them find food in villages among people. I’ve seen a pretty cruel example of it in India. A tiger came in to a village and they tied a rope around his neck and pulled him into a small space and beat it to its death with an ax in its head. I couldn’t watch it, but this is how it will end if you try to release them in the wild again. There is a danger trying to tame any wild beasts.

    It’s not worth it because of the fur, bones, coolness of owning one or what ever. It’s animal cruelty from beginning to end.


    • What you say is true. However, if left in the wild, tigers will be hunted to extinction. You and I agree that it is wrong to hunt these animals for the fur bones or other body parts but that won’t stop those who do. Those people do not care what we think.

  2. Siberian tigers and South China tigers are the most endangered cat species in the world. In the wild they were fewer than three thousand, and their number is constantly decreasing. People hunt them for their fur and because of traditional Asian medicine. It would be a shame that these amazing animals are gone forever, and remain only in stories.

    • Yes, that would be a shame. However, as long as there are people willing to pay fortunes for a part of those tigers, they will always be in danger until they are gone unless other people step up to protect them even if it means an automatic death sentence for the people that want a part of the tigers to drink as tea or wear as a coat or stuff as a trophy.

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