South China tiger cub makes public debut in S China city

A four-month-old South China tiger cub met visitors for the first time on Saturday at the South China Tiger Breeding Research Base in Shaoguan City, south China's Guangdong Province.

The female cub was a bit shy when she first saw her excited fans. She was born on July 23 this year after six of her stunted siblings died due to their parents' health problems. But the keepers say she is growing well.

"We improved the health of the parents by restructuring their food nutrition patterns and we also fed them some traditional Chinese medicines. The baby tigress born this year is healthy," said Li Shizhou, engineer at Yuebei South China Tiger Nature Reserve.

The South China tiger comes under first-class national protection in China and has been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 1996. Only about 200 such tigers are alive, and almost all of them dwell in zoos or breeding bases across China.

(Editor: Zhu Yingming; cover via VCG)

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