Chinese Zoologists to Try Viagra on Disinterested Tigers

The 48 South China Tigers in Chinese zoos have produced only one cub this year. The rare tigers are kept in ten zoos across the country, causing inbreeding and mating difficulties. Now experts are ready to give the disinterested males Viagra. Two tigers in Chongqing Zoo will be the first since the two show no sexual desire.

The annual meeting of the South China Tiger protection society, held Tuesday in Chongqing city in southwest China, found that their six years' protection work has been of little help in reducing the danger of extinction of the endangered South China Tigers.

The rare 49 tigers are kept in ten zoos across the country, causing inbreeding and mating difficulties. Years of captivity have wiped out both their wild nature and their sexual desire.

Cage life is the main reason for South China Tigers' infertility, and a spot test performed in 1997 showed that among eight randomly chosen male South China Tigers, most had low sperm counts and two had no sperm at all, according to Xie Youxin, deputy head of Chongqing Zoo.

The ferocious feline animals are listed among the most endangered subspecies of tigers by international organizations and there are only 20 to 30 wild South China Tigers in China.

The South China tiger is the most critically endangered of all tiger subspecies. Found in central and eastern China, it is estimated that at most only 20-30 South China tigers still exist in the wild. Currently 47 South China tigers live in 18 zoos, all in China.

The South China tiger is one of the smallest tiger subspecies. Male tigers measure about 2.5 meters (8 feet) from head to tail and weigh approximately 150 kilograms (330 pounds). Female tigers are smaller, measuring about 2.3 meters (7 1/2 feet) long. They weigh approximately 110 kilograms (240 pounds). The short, broad stripes of the South China tiger are spaced far apart compared to those of Bengal and Siberian tigers.

(People's Daily December 7, 2001)

In This Series

More Protection for Endangered Manchurian Tiger

News From "Roof of The World": Rare Tigers Discovered in Tibet

New Preserve for South China Tigers

Warning Issued Over Fake Viagra

Life Not Easy for Siberian Tigers

Program to Protect Rare Tigers



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