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Center Births 84 Siberian Tiger Cubs
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Eighty-four cubs of Siberian tiger, one of the most endangered animals in the world, have been born since March this year at a breeding center in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.


Liu Dan, an official with the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Center in the suburbs of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang, said cubs are doing well.


Liu said 13 other pregnant Siberian tigers will also give birth to between 20 to 30 new cubs before October.


The center, currently the largest breeding one for Siberian tigers in the world, was established in 1986 when it had only eight Siberian tigers. There are now 750 Siberian tigers at the park.


Siberian tigers, also known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, are among the world's 10 most endangered species and mostly live in northeast China and the Far East area of Russia. They are estimated to number approximately 400 in the wild, of which 20 or so live in northeast China.


Chinese scientists have planned to establish a gene bank for the endangered Siberian tigers within three years to ensure heredity diversity of the large cats.


The Siberian tiger breeding center plans to train and release 620 Siberian tigers into the wild in the future, according to Liu.



(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2007)

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