Harbin Siberian Tiger Park
Harbin Siberian Tiger Park is located on the northern side of the Songhua River and neighbors Sun Island Park. It covers an area of 966,000 square meters. It was first opened to public in 1996 and now there are over 600 tigers in the park.
Altogether 91 Siberian tiger cubs, one of world's most endangered animals, were born in 2012 in the park. It is the largest Siberian tiger breeding and field training center in the world.
The park has been strictly controlling the number of artificially bred Siberian tigers in recent years, Siberian tigers, otherwise known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, mainly live in east Russia, northeast China and northern part of the Korean Peninsula. Some 500 of the animals currently live in the wild, with an estimated 12 in Heilongjiang and eight to 10 in neighboring Jilin Province.
It is also the largest natural park for wild Siberian tigers in the world at present. The park enjoys a favorable foundation for ecotourism and splendid scenery and it is an ideal place for holiday and leisure. Visitors can also see white tigers, lions, lynx, leopards, and black pumas as well as Bengali tigers.
The tigers here are trained to get used to a natural environment, so that when the conditions permit, they will be released to mountains and make a living by themselves. It is a large park divided into ten areas, including the young tiger area, the mature tiger area, the king tiger area, a walking area and a platform for viewing the tigers. Unlike common zoos, the Siberian Tiger Park exchanges the roles of visitors and animals. Except in the walking area and the platform for viewing the tigers, tourists must take a bus encircled by wire mesh to all the other scenic spots while the tigers roam freely in the fields.
For those not satisfied with merely being a spectator, visitors have the unique opportunity to sentence hapless farm creatures ” starting at RMB 50 for a chicken and going up to RMB 1,500 for a cow ” to becoming tiger feed. It may seem cruel to the farm animals that are unceremoniously dumped out of a food truck into the middle of 10 insatiable Siberian tigers but it certainly makes the tigers very happy and adds quite a bit of excitement to the tour.