China clears traps for Siberian tigers in nature reserve

08:46, May 25, 2010      

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Chinese workers have begun clearing traps for catching rare wild Siberian tigers Monday in a national nature reserve of the northeastern Jilin Province, said local authorities.

Over the next week, more than 40 workers will search for snares set by poachers in the mountains of Hunchun National Nature Reserve, which covers more than 1,000 square kilometers and is home to about five wild Siberian tigers, said Lang Jianmin, a publicity official with the reserve's management.

"The tiger can't get out of the trap if caught. It would starve to death," Lang said.

In February, 2002, a wild Siberian tiger was rescued from a snare in the nature reserve, but died after the emergency treatment failed, he said.

The Siberian tiger, an endangered species, is a subspecies of tiger which once roamed western, central Asia and eastern Russia. It is estimated that the number of wild Siberian tigers is now between 350 and 450 worldwide.

China has around 20 wild Siberian tigers, among which eight to 10 are in Jilin and 10 to 14 are in the neighboring Heilongjiang Province.



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