Are there Siberian tigers in China?

The Siberian tiger (Amur tiger) distribution includes the northeastern tip of China at my last reckoning. Therefore historically Siberian tigers are in China. However, there is an interesting story in The Times newspaper today (Didi Tang), Tuesday, April 27, 2021, about a Siberian tiger that went on the rampage in a Chinese village. They are not sure if the tiger had crossed the border between China and Russia because most Siberian tigers live in Russia in the far east north of Vladivostok (see map below).

Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger. Photo in public domain.
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But it is perfectly plausible to suppose that they occasionally cross the border and, in this instance, a wild Siberian tiger has been captured in China for the first time after it walked into a village called Linhu in the north-eastern province of Heilongjiang.

It was first spotted near the village and a crowd gathered to see the it. It was dozing next to an electricity transformer. A car aroused it whereupon it raced into the village. The police evacuated the village and there was a three-hour stand-off. It walked down the road followed by a police car. It attacked a passing vehicle and smashed a window as the driver and passenger tried to flee.

A drone was used to track the tiger. It was spotted striding through a field where it knocked over a farmhand, Li Chunxiang, giving her minor injuries. She said that she was dumbfounded! An understatement.

Siberian tiger range – map prepared around 2011

The tiger was cornered at 6 PM, about 12 hours after it was spotted and tranquilized with darts. They have named the tiger Wandashan No 1 after a local mountain. It will be kept for 45 days to enable scientists to collect DNA and analyse its unique pattern of stripes. This will help them decide whether the tiger came across the Russia-China border. It weighs 200 kg.

China has built a tiger monitoring system, recording about 20 cubs in the past five years. They believe that this encounter is a sign of success. They like to live in thick forests, shrubbery and wild grassland. They can range over 60 mi² to look for food.

I have more pages on the Siberian tiger which you can see below. The world’s biggest cat is or was a liger kept in captivity unless the animal has since died.

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