The South China Tiger, a species unique to China, has reappeared
in the wild after a gap of two decades in the Qinling Mountains of
Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
"We made a breakthrough after more than one year of
investigation," said Zhu Julong, deputy director of Shaanxi
Forestry Administration Bureau, on Friday in Xi'an, the capital of
According to Zhu, Zhou Zhenglong, a farmer in Wencai, a village
in Zhenping County, took photos of the animal on the mountain on
the photo by
villager Zhou Zhenglong
"After the careful examination, experts confirmed the
authenticity of the photos," he said. "That means the tiger has
been found again after more than 20 years."
In recent years, the provincial forestry bureau received a
number of reports from local farmers saying that they saw big
animals like tigers living in the mountains near their villages,
prompting the bureau to launch its investigation in June 2006, said
"After two stages of the investigation, we found the tigers'
pawprints, feces, hair, teeth, paw marks on tree trunks and other
important evidence on the mountains," said Lu Xirong, deputy
director of Shaanxi Wild Animal Management Station and head of the
On July 6, the provincial forestry bureau held a working
conference in which experts, after careful analysis and screening,
initially determined that the South China Tiger still lives in
the mountainous area.
"The pictures of the tiger taken by Zhou Zhenglong confirmed the
existence of the animal in the area," Lu said.
"I also found a tiger's cave and some paw marks near the place
where I took the pictures," said Zhou.
The South China tiger was listed as one of 10 highly endangered
species in 1996 by the International Natural Conservation Alliance.
At present, there are only 68 such tigers living in 18 zoos in
"The mountainous area in Zhenping County has very good
conditions including a well-protected forest and rich resources,
and we will take measures to further protect both the animal and
its living environment," said Zhu.
(China Daily October 13, 2007)