First in Decades: South China Tiger Sighting

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 14th, 2007

I’ve been away for parts of three days. Time to play a little catch up.

This following report is interesting as this felid subspecies (Panthera tigris amoyensis) may not be extinct.

south china tiger

(File photo of the South China Tiger.)

Beijung — A type of tiger thought to be extinct in the wild for more than two decades has been photographed in a mountainous area in northwest China, state media reported Saturday.

The endangered subspecies known as the South China tiger was spotted by a farmer on Oct. 3, the China Daily said.

Experts confirmed that it was a young wild South China tiger, the newspaper quoted Shaanxi Forestry Administration Bureau Deputy Director Zhu Julong as saying.

“After the careful examination, experts confirmed the authenticity of the photos. That means the tiger has been found again after more than 20 years,” Zhu said.

The South China tiger is one of the world’s smallest and the only tiger subspecies native to China’s central and southern areas, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

In the early 1950s, there were 4,000 of the tigers across the country, but that number fell as their habitat was squeezed by China’s economic boom. There are 68 of the tigers in zoos in China, the newspaper said.“Chinese farmer spots rare tiger in first sighting in decades,”AP, Houston Chronicle, October 13, 2007.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “First in Decades: South China Tiger Sighting”

  1. imamonkey responds:

    Wow! That is so great. I love tigers and to hear that that they are seeing a thought to be extinct species in the wild is amazing. Yay!!

  2. kittenz responds:

    Yes! This is terrific news! Now if only the Chinese people would stop using tiger body parts and bones for “medicine”. Maybe they can be brought to realize that the true medicinal value of tigers lies with sharing the Earth with the living animals.

  3. pgb7112000 responds:

    As much as I enjoy this type of news, I always have this sense of dread that poachers have access to the internet also, and will use this information to hunt these animals into actual extinction. I wish this tiger luck, but unless the Chinese appetite for pseudo-medicines derived from tigers and bears is diminished, we will eventually be reading stories about their demise on this site.

  4. DARHOP responds:

    BEAUTIFUL animal! What a shame some peoples beliefs are going to be the demise of such a creature. Hopefully these people will soon understand the future of these animals. And stop their extinction, by stopping these so called medicines.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    I’m with Kittenz on this one. It is a travesty the amount of species needlessly killed or harvested for their “medicinal” values. Most of these types of concoctions made from animal parts don’t even have any sort of proven physiological benefits at all other than perhaps the psychosomatic ones. You get tigers killed off for top dollar and farms full of bears painfully farmed for their bile as well as a variety of other species. It is a shame that ignorance and superstition are leading many animals down the path of extinction. The thing is, it is hard to educate anyone when there is such a long tradition of some of these medicines being used.

  6. Alligator responds:

    No folks, the South China tiger hasn’t been reported in the wild for over 20 years. This can only mean this tiger is an escaped pet.

    (Just kidding) Terrific that the species has been rediscovered, but until the Chinese get beyond some of their folk medicine, tigers, bears and rhinos will continue to face extinction. Even though China is a totalitarian state with severe punishments for poaching, the potential monetary reward leads many there to take the odds. Many years ago, I asked my room mate from China what they used these parts for. H listed a variety of ailments that we have over-the counter medicines for, but a primary use of these animal parts is for aphrodisiacs! Sheesh.

  7. jedimaster5000 responds:

    Last time I remember (it was 2004), I found out that there is about 30 of these magnificent animals left.

    I sure love reading articles like this, mainly because how amazing they are, and how they evaded danger all this time. And seriously, anyone who kills tigers for medicines are greedy, because is it bad enough they kill billions just for medicine (theres another reason why they are greedy, and that is that they’re life expectancy is over 100, especially when theres 2 billion people living there).

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