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Siberian Tiger Cub Gets Foster-Parents
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“It was incredible! I saw the guards taking care of a tiger cub,” Mrs. Zhang reported to New Business, an affiliated newspaper with Dalian Daily. Then she asked, very perplexed: “Siberian tigers are an endangered species. Can people actually own one? ” The lady was stunned because she had seen a tiger cub outside a duty room of a hot spring resort in Dalian City.


 The guard holds the tiger cub in his arms.


To confirm the bizarre news, a reporter visited to the resort on Monday. To his surprise he found the cuddly female cub gnawing at her cage. She was probably teething a newly grown incisor. Later, he watched as a guard took her out of the cage and put the baby tiger on the lawn.


Asked whether it was legal to keep a tiger in captivity, Gong, the head guard, explained that their female cub was adopted from the Lvshun Lion and Tiger Zoo after obtaining approval from the wildlife conservation department. “When adopted, she was only one month old and pretty sick. But now she’s picked up and gotten much stronger,” Gong said. “We feed her four or five times a day. Milk, eggs and beef are daily necessities. Her food budget runs to nearly 2,000 yuan (US$264) each month.”


Song Zemin, the department director of Dalian Wildlife Conservation Station also confirmed the adoption as valid. He said: “The booming numbers of tigers and the ever-soaring meat prices have jointly made the zoo fall into hard times. A few of the tigers were actually starving. So the zoo appealed to the public for help. With official approval, any organization or individual who meets the required qualifications will be allowed to adopt a tiger cub for four months. Afterwards he must return the animal to the zoo.”


The tiger cub toys with a trouser cuff.


The adopted parents must guarantee that they have the ability to feed the cub and to provide the necessary shots and vaccines. During the adoption period, the zoo will be on call to help tend and nurse the adopted animal in case of injury or accident.


(China.org.cn by He Shan, August 15, 2007)

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