Siberian tigers endure the heat of summer

Updated: 2016-07-15 08:25

By Xinhua In Harbin(

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Siberian tigers endure the heat of summer

Siberian tigers scramble for a chicken at a breeding park in Hengdaohezi town in Hailin, Heilongjiang province, on Tuesday.[Photo/Xinhua]

As torrential rain wreaks havoc across southern China, the north is experiencing a heat wave, which has made life tough for endangered Siberian tigers.

While humans can escape to air-conditioned rooms, the endangered big cats are not so fortunate. At a Siberian tiger breeding park in Hengdaohezi township of Hailin, Heilongjiang province, more than 400 tigers must endure temperatures exceeding 30 C. They cannot remove their thick fur like a coat.

The tigers appear despondent and move around little, said Qiu Hongkun, an animal keeper at the park. "Some have even lost their appetites."

Around noon, the tigers can be seen panting. Many take cover from the baking heat in the shade of trees. They hardly react when feeders release live chickens into their enclosure, Qiu said.

Qiu and his colleagues have to bang on the fence and yell at the tigers to wake them at noon. If they fall asleep under the scorching sun, they will likely become ill from overexposure.

To provide sufficient water to drink and bathe, a river was diverted into the park.

"They like to soak in the water and only keep their heads above it," Qiu said.

"If a tiger gets heatstroke, we will treat it immediately," said Qiu.

Siberian tigers mostly live in eastern Russia, northeastern China and northern parts of the Korean Peninsula.

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