South China Tiger Update: It’s A Fake

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 22nd, 2007

tiger fake

The controversy over the authenticity photographs of the believed-to-be-extinct wild South China Tiger seemed to have come to an end on Friday when a netizen posted online what he claimed was a “convincing proof” that the pictures are fakes – a New Year picture of a tiger that hangs on the wall of his home.

The man, named “Panzhihua-Xydz,” said: “It’s the same picture. Even the stripes are identical.”

He left an online message that he bought the picture last year, but did not specify the date.

The discovery has encouraged skeptics who have always believed the pictures were a hoax for financial gain.

When contacted by reporters, Zhou Zhenglong, the farmer in Shaanxi Province who claimed to be the photographer of the tiger, refused to comment, according to

The photograph, purporting to be the first sighting of a South China Tiger for more than 30 years, aroused intense interest among scientists and scholars, after it was released on October 12.

The photo was chosen from 71 reportedly taken by Zhou in early October in Zhenping county, Shaanxi Province.

There are doubts over its veracity and suggestions that digital technology may have been used to enhance the image.

From “South China Tiger photos are ‘fake'”

China Daily November 17, 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 “South China Tiger Update: It’s A Fake”

  1. showme responds:

    Sadly, this only goes to show that 2-dimensional claims
    (photos, video) just aren’t good enough by themselves anymore.

  2. Artist responds:


  3. mystery_man responds:

    It is interesting to me that in the two pics, the tiger seems to have its head at a slightly different angle. Is this just an artifact of manipulation? I agree with the above that photos are losing a lot of power as incontrovertible visual evidence of anything. You know that when doctored photos get passed off in legitimate newspapers as real ones (and it seems this has happened on quite a few occasions), we have come to an age where any exceptional photograph’s veracity is going to be questioned. Good work to the one who sniffed this one out!

  4. squatch-toba responds:

    Damn,..Just when you think something great takes place,POOF, gone again!! I wonder what makes people do this sort of stuff?? Too bad, thought maybe this Tiger had come back…sad.

  5. Mnynames responds:

    I believe the suspected motive was tourist dollars, at least that’s what I recall reading. Pity.

  6. kittenz responds:

    Well, I still hold hope that the South China tigers may not be extinct.

  7. Alligator responds:

    Photo and video footage can no longer be stand alone evidence – nuff said. Drats, a slim hope for the South China tiger is dashed.

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