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Boom in rare tiger cubs hailed in China

Published By United Press International
HARBIN, China, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- In encouraging news for one of the world's rarest species, conservationists report the birth of 91 Siberian tiger cubs in an artificial breeding park in China.

With the births there are now 1,067 Siberian tigers in the Siberian Tiger Park in the suburbs of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, Liu Dan, chief engineer at the park, said.

Also known as "China Hengdaohezi Feline Breeding Center," the park was established in 1986 with eight Siberian tigers, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

It began to use DNA tests to prevent "intermarriage" among Siberian tigers to maintain genetic diversity in 2001.

Also known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, Siberian tigers mainly live in east Russia, northeast China and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.

Some 500 of the animals currently live in the wild, conservationists said.

Twenty of the 91 cubs born at the breeding center will be selected for artificial breeding to ensure the quality of the species, Liu said.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa