Friday, March 12, 2010

Amur Tigers Starve To Death In China

It has been reported that eleven Siberian (Amur) Tigers have died at the privately owned 'Shenyang Forest Wild Animal Zoo' in the freezing Liaoning province of China during the past three months.

Zoo authorities have put the cause of deaths down to various, unstipulated diseases, with the exception of two animals which were shot by police as they attacked a zoo keeper back in November.

Media sources have stated that the zoo was in severe financial troubles, were unable to pay employees and had been attempting to sell up but was unable to find a buyer. Meanwhile a local animal protection group said that the tigers were being kept indoors in small cramped cages and fed on a severely inadequate diet of chicken bones.

Although the Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is a rare tiger sub-species it is unlikely that these dead animals are recorded in a studbook anywhere and the parentage will range from uncertain to debateable. Sad as the loss of the animals is they would have been valueless from a conservation point of view.

There are presently some 6000 Tigers held in captivity in China. Many of these are in the infamous Tiger Farms. Most of the animals held are in unmanaged populations and are hybrid or white tigers which are of no value whatsoever to the World Zoo conservation efforts.

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