An increasing number of visitors are coming to the world's largest Siberian tiger breeding base in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province to catch a glimpse of the mighty animal against the snow-covered backdrop.
Statistics show that 26,000 people visited the Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Center in the suburbs of Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang, this month, compared with 21,461 last December and 8,019 at the low season this year.
"The beautiful animal in the snow forms a spectacular scene. That's why many visitors from home and abroad come here every December," said Bian Shifeng, a staff member at the center.
The center is the largest breeding base for Siberian tigers in the world. It was established in 1986 with only eight tigers and there are now more than 750 tigers.
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, are among the world's 10 most endangered species and mostly live in northeast China and the Far East area of Russia. They are estimated to number approximately 400 in the wild, of which 20 or so live in northeast China.
Chinese scientists plan to establish a gene bank for the endangered tigers within three years to ensure heredity diversity.
The breeding center plans to train and release 620 tigers into the wild over the coming years.