Tiger cub’s leap to death from 11 stories up exposes illegal possession of tigers

This is a harrowing, sad and upsetting story about the abuse of tigers in China.  A bizarre incident exposed the hidden illegality of the possession of tigers without a licence in China.

Tiger cub leaps to his death from 11 stories up
Tiger cub leaps to his death from 11 stories up on the top of an apartment building.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

A tiger cub falls 11 stories to his death from a building in downtown Pingdu, near Qingdao (China’s ‘sailing city’). This is on the coast of China.

The tiger cub was found in a parking lot below the building in the morning after the fall. We are told that he leapt to his death because he was frightened of fireworks that were going off (Lunar New Year fireworks). This strange incident led to an investigation which exposed the illegal activities of three businessmen, Cui Jingguang, Yang Wenzheng and Zhang Fucai, who are all local legislators. They make the law and they break the law.

As I understand it, Cui Jingguang (the manager of a mountain park in the area) bought a pair of Siberian tigers in 2006.

They were male and female and they had six cubs. It is one of these cubs who died in the fall. He couldn’t afford to look after them so he asked his friends (the other two) to help. Keeping a tiger in China costs around 200 yuan a day. Cui’s friends were millionaire businessmen but none of them were qualified to raise and look after tigers. They would never have acquired a licence.

Yang Wenzheng is also a local government official. He housed the tigers that he had acquired from Cui in steel cages on the roof of his apartment building which explains how the tiger came to fall 11 stories to his death. We have to presume (a) that the cage was open at the time and (b) that a lot of carelessness was involved as well as well as illegality coupled with an immoral attitude towards animals.

Rather than being prosecuted in the criminal courts in China they were simply fined. Each man was fined 3,000 (about $450 USD). This seems like a very light punishment. The dean of Huijia Law Firm in Beijing believes they should have been punished more severely.

The light punishments are highlighted when compared to the punishment handed out to another Chinese man involved with the illegal trade in tigers. Wang was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison and fined 50,000 yuan for illegally trying to buy a dead Siberian tiger.

No doubt, the three businessmen used their connections and influence to achieve a very light punishment for their crime. The Chinese government admit that there is too much corruption amongst officials in local government which destabilises the Chinese economy. We are told that the three have resigned from office as law makers.

The surviving tigers possessed by these three are now in a zoo in China.

Tiger parts are very valuable in China which is why they are traded. The trade is in serious breach of China’s obligations under CITES and a major threat to the survival of the tiger in the wild. Chinese businessmen like to eat tiger body parts as they believe it gives them an advantage in business and in love making (they eat the tiger’s penis for this, which is worth $6,000 or more as tigers become more scarse).

Sources: South China Morning Post, takpart, China Daily and Michael Broad. My thanks to Michele S for finding the story.

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20 thoughts on “Tiger cub’s leap to death from 11 stories up exposes illegal possession of tigers”

  1. Michael, that quip was intended for our “friend” and not yourself. My reply didn’t appear where I expected it to 😉

  2. But killing all the native cats around the world with your moggies’ feline diseases is perfectly acceptable to you.

    thenational . ae / news/uae-news/big-cat-owners-warned-to-keep-them-acres-away-from-feral-strays

    guardian . co . uk / environment/2012/sep/16/scottish-wildcat-extinction

    rapidcityjournal . com / sports/local/feral-cats-pose-threat-to-birds-lions/article_8ec451c9-4b03-55a3-baa7-71ac577905cb . html

    I guess, because all those thousands of other cats that are slowly dying and suffering to death aren’t as much of a headliner news from some country half a globe-away that involves government corruption or a cat leaping to its death. That means all those thousands of native cats deaths aren’t as important to you. But mostly, because you yourselves are causing them to all die around the whole globe. That it is too painfully obvious and vast, and something that you yourselves can actually do something about it top stop it.

    We can’t have that, now can we. Heavens forbid that you should ever see up-close and personal all the native cats that YOU are killing every single day around the whole planet with your man-made moggies.

    I bet Michael is so paranoid about this and afraid to let anyone see his, and your, true lack-of-values that he will even delete this post so the rest of you don’t have to see all the native cats that you are killing with your own house-cats. The rest of the world knows all about this, for over a decade now. How come none of you act like you know about it or even talk about it? SMH

    • Hi Woody. You’ve had your say now shut up please except to respond to this: give me some hard, neutral, scientific evidence to support your opening sentence:

      “killing all the native cats around the world with your moggies’ feline diseases…”

      There is no evidence that moggies kill wild cat species through disease transmission.

      It is you who is paranoid. I am completely sane and logical.

      • Amazing. The evidence is put right in front of you and you claim it doesn’t exist. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone so hellbent on retaining their own bliss of self-inflicted ignorance before. Let us hope that you don’t drive a car. You’d insist that all those other cars that you smashed into didn’t exist.

          • Here you go, you can just delete this evidence and remain just as blissful as you have always been. Though this document only covers a few of the 3dozen+ deadly zoonotic diseases that stray cats are spreading to humans, the cats of responsible pet-owners, and all other animals:

            s3 . amazonaws . com / s3.documentcloud . org / documents/681002/zoonotic-diseases-associated-with-free-roaming.pdf

            One short excerpt:

            “Domestic cats can be a source of infection for native wild- life. Contact or consuming domestic cats can be a threat to native predators. Consumption of free-roaming cats by cougar or panther (Felis concolor) poses a risk of FeLV transmission, and suspected cases of domestic cat-transmitted FeLV in wild felids have been reported in California and Florida (Jessup et al., 1993; Cunningham et al., 2008). Genetic analysis of the FeLV virus associated with mortality in 5 Florida panthers indicated that the virus envelope sequence was nearly identical indicating the source or the infection was likely from a single domestic cat (Brown et al., 2008).”

            • Woody in your first comment you wrote:

              But killing all the native cats around the world with your moggies’ feline diseases is perfectly acceptable to you.

              You used the word all. The evidence you have produced uses language such as ‘can be” (a source of infection) and “poses a risk”. Okay, there can be a transmission and there is a risk but how big is that risk and what are the actual numbers? How many FelV+ domestic cats are eaten by cougars? Is any government organisation testing dead cougars for the cause of death? If so how many were killed by FeLV, for example? The words ‘can be’ does tell me that it has actually happened. I can be stabbed by a burglar but the chances of it happening are remote.

              The trouble is, Woody, you can’t produce evidence and your hatred of the domestic cat always turns your comments into a crazy rant from a biased person.

              • How many native cats must die due to your free roaming moggies before it is a problem for you? 1? 10? 100? 1000? You are whining about just one cat leaping to its death. I would think as a “caring” cat-lover that you would care that FIVE endangered Florida Panthers dying from just ONE of your moggies would be enough for you to be concerned. Especially when there were, at that time, fewer than 50 in existence (still only 100 to 180 today). That’s 20% of the remaining population at that time that were killed by just one of your free-roaming cats.

                So tell us all, how many native cats must die or become extinct due to your own values before you even care or will even begin to admit to your direct responsiblity for it happening?

                I’m not sure why I’m even bothering to educate you. You won’t be happy until all life on earth is dead and gone but you and your cats. You’ve stated that many times in the past, as have all your regulars. Oh? Didn’t you know that all the rest of the world already knows this about you? Blame yourself for your dwindling visitors.

                You wanted proof, you got some. Now even that isn’t good enough. Twist your mind away from the reality of the world that you are creating with your diseased free roaming moggies. It’s not going to change reality. You’ll still be to blame no matter how far and how long you keep denying it all — you’re still personally to blame for the deaths of those native animals. Whether you can accept it or not.

                • Woody, unsurprisingly in your arrogance you think you are educating me! You are not. You are peddling misinformation. You still fail to produce evidence. The reason why the Florida panther is so endangered is because it is inbred. They become infertile. They are inbred because they are trapped into being an island population. They are an island population because bloody stupid Americans (like yourself) with the bloody stupid rifles shot them all in the East of the USA except for a 100 in Florida. I guess you choose to ignore that fact.

    • Oh, so you’re who Abraham Lincoln was referring to when he said “Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  3. The fines handed out are a joke. In the UK I could expect to be fined at least double that amount if I failed to buy a TV license or road tax!

    Anyone involved in the illegal trade in endangered wildlife should be fined the same amount as that animal’s value on the blackmarket and given a minimum 10 year prison sentence, which can be extended for failure to pay the fine.

    It is to our shame that there are now more tigers kept as pets or raised for the medicine trade, than there are in the wild 🙁

    • Well said Michele. Couldn’t put it better. This story is an example of why the tiger is extremely endangered. Combine this lax and corrupt attitude to the law and to International agreements e.g CITES and throw in a bizarre idea that eating tiger somehow benefits you and you have a toxic recipe for disaster for the wild tiger. There are thousands of tigers being bred in farms in China which also devalues this iconic wild cat species.

      • I really do fear for the future of the tiger. The black market demand for their body parts will not cease until the species is extinct in the wild.

        • A lot of knowledgeable people see the tiger as doomed in the wild. It may survive but it 50:50.

          What may happen is that the tigers in Bhutan in the Himalayan foothills will survive as a small population because no one lives there. They are free the damnable human in the Himalayas.

  4. You can’t care properly for any pet you wish to keep if you can’t be bothered to ensure it’s safety. If you know nothing about to to raise them and proper care…Don’t have them!!! That poor cub!! It saddens me that this happens. If there’s one place in the world that’s not known for care & compassion of animals is China!!!!
    Pretty much NO animals are safe there!!!

    • I think you can extend the range of what you say to the Far East – places like Vietnam. They eat domestic cats there too. And Laos are part of the tiger smuggling mafia. A lot of people argue that we are mad to consider eating cat (wild or domestic) as immoral. They don’t understand it. We have different attitudes and relationships with companion and wild animals.


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