My absolute FAVOURITE part of the trip and of Harbin was the Siberian Tiger Park. What I don’t like to see are zoos where animals are kept in small cages or that look upset, so I just adored this park. Amusingly, this park swaps the role of animals VS humans. It’s the humans that are enclosed in caged walkways, and go around in caged buses… whilst the animals roam around the park. It’s the largest natural park for wild Siberian tigers in the world at present – very cool!
The Siberian tiger is endangered, so it’s really nice to see them being protected and living so comfortably. There were also white tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars, etc in the park as well (separated, of course).. and…. most unbelievably…. LIGERS!!!!! 3 of them!!! These are a hybrid cross between a male lion and a tigress, and the Liger (only 0.1% are successfully born) turns out LARGER than both combined… the biggest of all cats in the world. And apparently there are only around 10 ligers in the world, so we very very very lucky to have seen them with our own eyes, and probably never will again.
During the caged bus tour, you’re driven up close to the tigers, and you can purchase live animals to feed the tigers. HOLY CRAP!!!! We were like “We are soooo buying an animal” when we heard that. Chickens are the cheapest, but you can buy a whole cow/ox… and the animals are set free among the tigers, so you get up-close action of the tigers hunting and killing the animals. We couldn’t exactly stomach the idea of a large animal being hunted right in front of our faces, so chose to buy a chicken instead. ANNOYINGLY, everyone else in the bus with us were local Chinese, and stingy as hell. They said, in Chinese, “Oh don’t spend money buying. Those foreigners will buy and we can watch” Was really annoyed at their blatent ‘make the foreigner pay’ attitude but decided to suck it up, be nice, and buy a chicken for the whole bus to watch the spectacle.
A guy sits in a small truck with the livestock, and when we reach, he grabs a chicken and chucks it right onto the roof of the car. The tigers have obviously learned that this particular car dishes out food.. so they were waiting. One promptly jumped onto the top of the truck, and grabbed and ate the chicken! It was all over in about 5 seconds flat, LOL. Was still fascinating though – I mean, not many people can say “I was 5 metres away from a Siberian tiger killing and eating a live chicken”!
For those interested here are photos of the Siberian tigers killing a cow, in the same park.
I just LOVED the whole park. All the gorgeous animals, roaming freely and looking so healthy. Was a real eye-opening experience, and just so amazing :)
The incredible Siberian Tiger Park
Sitting in our caged van, so the tigers don’t maul us.. lol.
Siberian tiger on top of a car, eating the live chicken we bought
Lazing about in the sun
A whole pack of ’em!
Lionesses tearing into a lamb (!!!)
A white tiger!
Video we took after the Siberian tiger grabbed our live chicken!