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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rare Wild South China Tiger Spotted

A farmer in the Shaanxi province in China handed officials pictures he took earlier this month of a single South China Tiger. The subspecies is extremely rare; experts think there may be as few as 30-40 living in the wild and many feared that the handful existing in captivity might have been the last.

It is thought that there were as many as 4000 South China Tigers in the 1950s, but the Chinese leader, Mao Zedong, labeled them a "pest" and ordered an extinction campaign. The last known sighting of the tiger in the wild was in 1964.

Three other subspecies of tiger have gone extinct since 1940: the Bali, Java, and Caspian.

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