BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Wednesday March 16 2005 17:50 GMT

Chinese tigers' African training

South China tigers
Four rare South China tiger cubs, born in captivity in China, are being raised in South Africa to try and save the species from extinction.

They are being taught how to develop their hunting and survival skills so they can pass them on to their cubs.

The cubs will then be sent back to a reserve in China where it is hoped they will help to keep up the population of tigers in the wild.

In China there are only about 10-30 left in the wild and 60 in captivity.

One pair of the tigers sent to South Africa, Hope and Cathay, are now two years old and have been successfully hunting in a small enclosure.

They are to be moved to a larger area where they will have to work harder for their meals. They have been fitted with radio tracking devices so they can be monitored.

The other pair, Madonna and Tiger Woods, are a year old and are currently in the early stages of their "rewilding" programme.


So far the programme is only an experiment and might not work, but Li Quan of Save China's Tigers is hopeful.

She said: "The important thing is once the tiger learns the skills to hunt, it does not matter what kind of habitat, they can apply the skills. The most important thing for them to do is basically regain the skills that they have lost through captivity."

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy