JILIN, October 12, China daily -- The National Felidae Center in China confirmed on October 9 that the suspected tiger footprint and fur found in the past week (September 23 to 30) in the area of the Zhangjiadian Forestry Farm, managed by Tianqiaoling Forestry Bureau of Jilin province, belong to two adult wild Siberian tigers.
The latest discovery was the eighth time that Siberian tigers have been found in the area since May, 2015.
Ren Baochun, a Korean pine forest contractor, said that it was he who discovered the footprint. He was to collect pinecones in the Zhangjiadian area with two friends in the morning of September 17 but found what appeared to be several animal footprints on the road.
Because of the rain on September 16, the footmarks were very clear. Ren and his friends compared the marks with those of cattle and horses, but the tracks were bigger. When they saw the pictures of Siberian's footprints on the Internet they realized that the tracks may have been left by wild tigers. They freaked out and rushed home immediately.
"The road was clean on September 15 when they picked up pinecones, so the footprints must have been left in the evening of September 15 or 16," Ren added.
The Zhangjiadian and the Putaogou Forest Farm are both in the provincial Siberian natural conservation area. Other forest farms such as the Huapi, the Shanghe and the Xinkai Forest Farms also found wild tiger tracks in June and December of 2015 and May of 2016.
The Siberian tigers tracks indicate that the Chinese wild Siberian tigers are expanding to the Western part of Changbai Mountain, which lies in the southeastern part of Jilin province. The evidence shows that the wild Siberian tigers recovery program is succeeding, and that the Tianqiaoling area has become a reproduction zone for the big cats.
Similar wild tiger tracks are also found at the Huapi, the Shanghe and the Xinkai Forest Farm in June and December of 2015 and May of 2016.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Cao Yongfu, director of the Tianqiaoling Forestry Bureau, said the bureau has issued rules to help the natural forests to recover and to protect the wild animals -- illegal logging and hunting are almost wiped out.
Additionally, the establishment of wetland parks such as the Gaya River Wetland Park has further improved the ecological environment of the Tianqiaoling area.