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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 June 2007, 18:10 GMT 19:10 UK
Baby boom for endangered tigers
Siberian tiger cub
More than 600 tigers will be released into the wild
The endangered Siberian tiger has been given a boost, with the birth in captivity of 84 cubs since March this year, Chinese state media report.

An official from China's feline breeding centre told Xinhua news agency the cubs were all well. Thirteen tigers are due to give birth by October.

The Siberian tiger, the largest natural member of the cat family, is one of the world's 10 most endangered creatures.

Only 400 live in the wild, of which most are in the Russian Far East.

The Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Centre, located in the suburbs of the north-eastern city of Harbin, in the northern Heilongjiang province, was set up in 1986 with just eight tigers. It now contains 750.

It plans to release 620 of them into the wild, the agency says.

Scientists are trying to set up a gene bank to ensure the genetic diversity of the species.

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