A friend of mine, Li Quan, has been raising tigers in Africa. The first thing you should know is that tigers are not found in Africa. The second thing you should know is that she gave up a cushy career in the fashion industry to become a cat conservationist. Both points seem strange. But what’s most bizarre is that her tigers are Chinese. In fact, they’re one of the rarest animals in the world. There’s only 67 South China tigers remaining.
Well, make that 68. Over the weekend, one of her four adult tigers gave birth to a 1.2 kilogram fuzzy ball of a cub. This cub will be sent, along with any others that are born soon, to China, where they will be released into nature reserves. These reserves will be the first of their kind for tiger conservation – and a model of sustainable eco-tourism. You would be able to check out the tigers in their natural habitat.
Of course, you could do that even now. Her tigers are being raised in South Africa’s Free State. They spend their days roaming the safari (kind of, there’s a big fence around them). They hunt antelopes when they’re hungry. And entertain guests who come to check out what is sure the weirdest animal to be found in Africa: a Chinese tiger.
Congrats Li Quan.