China / Regions

Wild Siberian tiger suspected of raiding pregnant cow in Jilin

By Liao Wei ( Updated: 2014-12-09 14:57

A farmer’s pregnant cow was found dead in a forest, two kilometers away from his village in Shulan, a city in the central north part of Jilin province on Dec 2.

Based on a trajectory analysis on Dec 8, local experts on animal protection made the conclusion that the murderer was a less than 3-year-old wild Siberian tiger

Liu Chunyang, the owner of the cow, left his cattle in a nearby forest and planned to round them up back home on the afternoon on Nov 30. Then he found the pregnant one was missing.

It took Liu and another 10-odd villagers two days to find the body, which weighed 400 kilograms and was almost eaten up by the "murderer".

Soon the forest police and animal protection staff from the local forestry department came to investigate the case, but they did not get enough evidence for a conclusion because of darkness and the potential danger of the wild beast’s attack.

Early on the next day, they came to the site and found the body had been dragged to another spot, several meters from the original place. And the flesh had been nibbled away.

"The cow was finished up on three occasions," said Tang Jingwen, an official from local forest bureau.

He said it was a wild Siberian tiger and explained his guess according to the measurements of its paws, which were no more than nine centimeters across. And the chemical examination of its urine and the traces of lying down told its age and sex — a less than 3-year-old male tiger.

There were two new traces of tigers hunting for food in Jilin city’s Longtan district, which are about 20 kilometers away from each other and not far from the dead pregnant cow.

Song Kexin, a representative from the district’s forestry department, said they found a 200-meter footprints trail on a path near Xuegu village on the morning of Dec 7 and on the same day, they found big animal’s traces in Heidingzi village in the afternoon.

Those footprints soon proved to belong to a Siberian tiger. Tang said Shulan had not witnessed the tiger for a dozen years and the recent show-ups were probably from Zhangguangcai Mountain, a branch of Changbai Mountain.

"The Siberian tigers mainly live in Northeastern Asia — Russia's Siberia, northern parts of the Korean Peninsula and Hunchun in Northeast China’s Jilin province. Hunchun is a frequent destination for the Siberian tigers," Tang added.

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