No more photos with Siberian tiger cubs in China

July 19th, 2012 - 10:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 19 (IANS) Wildlife conservation and forestry departments in a Chinese province have announced that visitors will not be allowed to click themselves with Siberian tiger cubs at a tiger park in future.

The step followed a complaint filed by a resident, surnamed Li, living near Siberian Tiger Park, the largest Siberian tiger breeding base in the world, to the provincial forestry department, Xinhua reported Thursday.

Li said that visitors to the park were allowed to take pictures with Siberian tiger cubs for 100 yuan (about $16).

“The cubs cried miserably, and that’s so pitiful,” said Li, adding that the cubs would hide behind the tree after being photographed. “Obviously, they aren’t willing to do this.”

Li’s complaint won the support of local wildlife conservation and forestry departments, and the relevant departments of Heilongjiang province decided to stop the profitable activity.

Some wildlife enthusiasts, however, said the practice was understandable as many animal parks and zoos suffer from a lack of funding.

Siberian tigers are among the world’s rarest species. Their population in the wild is estimated to stand at around 500. Most of the tigers live in east Russia and northeast China.

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