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China launches wildlife rescue center to better protect tigers, leopards

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-11-29 21:02
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Siberian tigers rest at Hengdaohezi, a major breeding center for big cats in Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang province, in April. [Photo/Xinhua]

CHANGCHUN -- China on Friday launched a wildlife rescue center in the northeastern city of Changchun to better protect Siberian tigers, Amur leopards and other wild animals.

The center was jointly established by the management bureau of Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park and Jilin provincial wildlife rescue and breeding center. It will focus on rescuing and treating wild animals in the pilot area of the national park.

In addition to animal rescue, the two sides will cooperate in areas such as handling emergency incidents concerning tigers and leopards, and the prevention of human-tiger conflicts.

"After helping animals regain survival skills, we will release them back to the wild," said Liu Cunfa, director of the Jilin center. "For those unable to survive in the wild, we will take good care of them at the center."

Currently, there are 355 species of terrestrial wild vertebrates living in the national park, including 10 under national first-class protection.

Siberian tigers, otherwise known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, mainly live in eastern Russia, Northeast China and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, Amur leopards, also known as the Far Eastern leopard, are one of the most endangered felines in the world and have been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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