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WWF demands clearing of animal traps after Siberian tiger killed

(Xinhua)

10:28, November 03, 2011

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) urged China on Wednesday to clear animal traps to protect the habitat of endangered tigers in the northeast of the country.

An official from the agency made the call days after a wild Siberian tiger was found dead with a trap around its neck in the city of Mishan in Heilongjiang Province.

Animal traps still pose a major threat to the safety of wild Siberian tigers and their prey, Zhu Jiang, director of the WWF NE China Program Office, said.

A WWF survey found an average of 1.6 traps for every 10 kilometers of distance covered in the Siberian tiger nature reserves in Heilongjiang and its neighboring Jilin Province last winter, Zhu said.

"WWF hopes to cooperate with local governments to protect Siberian tigers and restore their habitats," Zhu said. "We aim to help double the population of wild Siberian tigers in China by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger," he said.

On Oct. 27, a villager in Mishan found a dead tiger near a reservoir and animal researchers later confirmed it was a Si?berian breed.

The researchers found a steel wire around the tiger's neck, although they believe the animal didn't suffocate to death, but died from hunger as the trap prevented it from hunting and eating.

The reservoir site lies between two major potential habitats for Siberian ti?gers and if better managed, could serve as a migration corridor for the big cats, they believe.

Siberian tigers are among the world's rarest wild animals.

Their population is estimated at 500, mostly living in Russia's far east and China's northeast. China is thought to have only 20 living in the forests in Heilongjiang and Jilin.

 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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