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Siberian tigers receive increased visitors in holiday

2012-01-31 10:10 Xinhua     Web Editor: Xu Aqing comment

Siberian tigers at a breeding center in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province received more than 10,000 visitors during the seven-day Spring Festival holiday.

"During the past seven days, the number of people visiting the Siberian tigers in our center reached 12,482," according to a staff member at the center, which is located in the city of Harbin.

"This was the first time that my family and I had a 'close encounter' with the tigers," said visitor Wei Yuntong.

Siberian tigers are among the world's rarest species. Their population in the wild is estimated to stand at around 500, most of which live in east Russia and northeast China.

The Harbin breeding center, the largest of its kind in the world, was built in 1986. The center was home to just eight Siberian tigers at the time. The center's tiger population hit 1,000 in 2011, and its staff successfully conducted field breeding and survival training experiments for the first time the same year.

The center's tigers are just one of many attractions drawing tourists for the 28th Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, which kicked off on Jan. 5 and will last for three months.

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