This is a little morality story concerning a Siberian tiger and a Chinese man. The Chinese man is Qu Shuangxi (“Mr Qu”). Mr Qu liked to go hunting or trapping for deer. Almost 4 years ago Mr Qu was returning from a trapping trip with his friend. Apparently, many Chinese in the province of Jilin, China like to trap (snare) wildlife. There are no wildlife traps and snares in neighboring Russia but lots in China.
Mr Qu had caught a red deer. They were 3 km from their village. They were talking about how they would enjoy eating the red deer.
Suddenly a Siberian tiger appeared behind them about 12 yards away. The area where they were walking is not far from the border with Russia and one of two places where the Siberian tiger has its range in Russia which is to the west of Vladivostok. Most Siberian tigers live in Russia but apparently about 20, a very small number, live in north-east China just over the border from Russia.
The tiger who was stalking Mr Qu was one of these 20, rare tigers. Mr Qu and his friend ran as fast as they could which may have been the wrong thing to do because when you turn your back and run a tiger will always run after you and catch up with you. In India and Bangladesh some people who are forced to live in close proximity with the Bengal tiger wear a face mask on the back of their head which gives the impression to a tiger that the person is facing them even when they are turned away from the tiger. This has proved to be an effective way of preventing tigers attacks.
Clearly Mr Qu had not heard about that tip and the tiger quickly caught up with them and swiped Qu with its paw causing serious and permanent damage to his shoulder.
The tiger was far too quick for Mr Qu but it transpired that the tiger had been trapped by one of Mr Qu’s snares and had broken free of it but the snare was still attached to him. Despite this massive encumbrance and injury the tiger was able to catch up to Mr Qu. Fortunately for Mr Qu the tiger turned his attention to the red deer and ate that and not him.
Not only did Mr Qu, through his callous and reckless behaviour by laying snares, cause the tiger to threaten his life he had also killed an incredibly rare tiger because the tiger who attacked him died about eight days later of his injuries caused by the snare Qu had laid.
Tigers do not attack people except when they are forced to because they have lost their ability to attack their normal prey due to injury, illness or old age.
The end of the story is a little more optimistic because Mr Qu has turned from a hunter to a gamekeeper. He is now a volunteer with the pilot conservation project in the area where he lives. He has seen the error of his ways and the light, which is to preserve this incredibly precious and magnificent wild cat species that is so rare. There are only about 400 Siberian tigers in the entire world and there is a real danger that they will become extinct simply because of inbreeding due to their very low number.
The moral is to respect the Siberian tiger and not to hurt it through ignorance, carelessness or callousness.
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