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Conservationist Says Fewer Than 50 Wild Tigers Left in China


A conservationist says no more than 50 tigers remain in the wild in China.

Xie Yan, director of the China program for the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society said Monday that just 20 years ago, tigers still roamed across large areas of China.

She told reporters that based on data from the year 2000, there are only around 15 Bengal tigers left in Tibet, 10 Indochinese tigers in China's southwest and around 20 Siberian tigers in the northeast.

She said the South China tiger may already be extinct. She added that the northeast tiger population is now stable, and may be increasing a little, but the number is still very small.

Although China bans the use of tiger parts in medicine, conservationists say the trade is still booming in Asia.

In 2006 All over Tibet, there have been reports of people burning wild animal furs since the Dalai Lama, made his appeal at a Buddhist teaching in India.

Thousands of Tibetans attended teaching and many carried the Dalai Lama's words back to their Himalayan homeland.

"When you go back to your respective places, remember what I had said earlier and never use, sell, or buy wild animals, their products or derivatives," he asked pilgrims at the Kalachakra teaching, in south India.

The Dalai Lama said he was "ashamed" to see images of Tibetans decorating themselves with skins and furs.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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