Chinese Pitch In To Clear Tiger Snares

Too often, the news from China about animals is about unethical treatment and abuses. Here’s a far more positive report: Recently, in the midst of winter, 59 Chinese volunteers helped to clear 162 illegal wire snares from the northeastern province of Heilongijang. The snares had been set by poachers and are meant to catch boar, rabbits and roe deer, but have sometimes caught tigers. Indeed, last October, a tiger was found dead in one such snare.

The population of Amur or Siberian tigers in China is very low — only 18 to 22 are thought to remain — and the animals are critically endangered. In the 1940s, about 300 tigers were living in the country. The World Conservation Society estimates that fewer than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild, with only about 1,000 of those breeding females.†Signs of these big cats have been appearing more and more in the nearby Russian Far East, where the population is several hundred.

Tiger parts are sought after for use in traditional Chinese medicine; their bones have been used for centuries to treat arthritis and muscular atrophy. The animals’ beautiful pelts are also highly sought after. In addition, illegal logging is threatening their’ habitat. Roe deer are one of the tigers’ staple foods but poaching has drastically reduced the population of these in the forests.

The Chinese volunteers included doctors, computer engineers, public servants and college students; they worked beside WCS staff for six days in freezing temperatures and in deep snow. Joe Walston, WCS Director of Asia Programs, said that it was “heartening to see a new generation of environmentally committed young Chinese willing and able to volunteer their time to do something challenging but important for their country’s natural heritage.”

Zhu Chunquan, who works at the World Wildlife Fund‘s Beijing office, emphasized that, unless the Chinese government takes steps, the tigers will disappear from China within 10 to 20 years — a preventable tragedy, if the right steps are taken to ensure their survival.

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Photo by mape_s


Samantha Richardson

It gives me such hope that people are out there, doing whatever they can, to help save these majestic animals :)

Heather K.
Heather K.3 years ago

wonderful and inspiring news, our children show us the way forward in this dark and inhumane world and give us hope for a compassionate future.

Marie Hernandes
Past Member 3 years ago

Educated Chinese youth of today have been campaiging and protesting to bring attention to the horrors of the dog/cat meat trade for some time. Recently they stopped a cargo of 1000 cats that were heading for the slaughter. It was heartbreaking to see these poor animals desperate for water and medical attention. These young people are the hope of tomorrow in educating the Chinese of this vicious dog/cat meat trade and why this practice should end.

Edmond Ciesielski

La Chine détruit les tigres (bravo à ces quelques volontaires), détruit les rhinocéros, torturent des chiens (jetés vivants dans l' eau bouillante , dépecés vivants, battus à mort, électrocutés devant d' autres chiens qui hurlent de peur et qui urinent de peur car ils savent qu' ils vont subir le même sort) et cela pour faire monter l' adrénaline du chien pour que sa viande soit aphrosidisiaque . Les rhinos sont en voie de disparition mais cela n' inquiète pas la Chine qui continue ce massacre.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Paul S.
PAIL S.4 years ago

Better late than never (just). I'm glad about this, and wish for them and the tiger every success.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers4 years ago

If all the Chinese, 1 billion of them were all using tiger parts, then they wouldn't be any tigers left! They would have made them extinct many years ago. You have to stop hating the entire Chinese population for the excesses of their one percent. Yes they have a 1% too! ...Thats like hating America because that's where G.W. Bush comes from! I suspect these China haters are small minded bigots who are looking for someone to hate, and if they didn't hate China then they would just hate someone else.

Terry Vanderbush
Terry V.4 years ago


Cynthia Blais
cynthia AWAY b.4 years ago

finally some have developed a conscience I hope this awareness spread Thanks to this group