Pictures of South China Tiger declared fakes

December 4th, 2007 - 3:36 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec.4 (ANI): Chinese photographers have described digital pictures of the rare South China tiger as fakes.
According to the official Xinhua news agency and The China Daily, a team of photographic experts assessed the 40 digital pictures provided by the Chinese Internet firm NetEase.
The State Forestry Administration, however, on Tuesday refused to comment on the authenticity of these pictures, saying its responsibility is to protect the wildlife.
Cao Qingyao, SFA spokesman, said a new investigation in Chinas Shaanxi area is under way, and the results will be announced as soon as possible.
Technological analysts said the 40 pictures must have been taken by people with photographic experience or under guidance and could not be done independently by a person without any photographic experience.
Earlier, Zhou Zhenglong, 52, a farmer and former hunter in Chengguan Township of Shaanxi’s Zhenping County, had claimed that he had photographed the tiger with a digital camera and on film on the afternoon of October 3.
The Shaanxi forestry department said it had confirmed the 40 digital pictures and 31 film photographs were genuine. But the pictures released were not the original ones and they underwent modifications, such as time and signal, according to experts.
Bao Kun, an expert who participated in the appraisal by the center, told Xinhua they announced the results out of “a citizen’s sense of social responsibility.”
The South China tiger, from which other sub-species such as the Siberian tiger evolved, is listed as one of the world’s ten most endangered animals. It is the only tiger subspecies native to China’s central and southern areas.
In the early 1950s, its population was 4,000 across the country. Since 1964, no sightings of wild tigers have been reported in Shaanxi.
Its former habitats were in Guangdong Province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the central provinces of Hunan and Jiangxi. (ANI)

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