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Rare tiger cub raises hopes, but dies

A rare Siberian tiger discovered near the Russian border seemed an auspicious beginning to China's Year of the Tiger, but within days, the emaciated cub died of malnutrition.


The Siberian tiger cub that was found trapped in a farmer's woodpile in NE China but later died. [Xinhua]

The cub, believed to be about one year old, was already in poor shape just after it was found on February 26 trapped in a fence, a security official with the forestry bureau in Heilongjiang Province said yesterday.

"It lay on the ground and looked so weak. We've had heavy snow these days, and it must have been starving," said the official surnamed Zhang.

Siberian tigers are one of the world's rarest species, with just 300 believed remaining in the wild. In China, killing one of the big cats is punishable by death.

A forestry official named Han Deyou heard his dog barking and found the cub trapped in the metal bars of a fence in his backyard, the Heilongjiang News reported.