History

Save China's Tigers is one of the most dynamic conservation organizations in the world. Below lists the progress we made since the establishment of the charity.
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SAVE CHINA’S TIGERS MAIN PROGRESS TO DATE

• Few if any Chinese Tigers (South China Tigers) still exist in the wild and around 100 live in captivity. China established the Meihuashan Chinese Tiger Rewilding & Reintroduction Center in 1998.

• October 2000, Beijing-born Li Quan, and her American husband, Stuart Bray established the charitable foundation Save China’s Tigers in UK and then in the US in 2002 and Hong Kong in 2003.

• After observing and analysing how wildlife conservation and eco-tourism have succeeded in Africa, they engineered the Chinese Tiger Conservation Model in 1999.

• Year 2001 to 2002, Save China’s Tigers initiated, facilitated and co-funded Dr. Ron Tilson’s survey team’s work in China for the wild South China Tiger

• Save China’s Tigers recruited noted Appeal Patrons such as Nick Rhodes, Michelle Yoeh, Kaige Chen, Jiang Wen as well as advisors such as Dr. Gary Koehler

• August 2001, SCT proposed to China to use South African expertise to help China’s Chinese Tiger Reintroduction project.

• Nov 2001, SCT invited first South African Team to visit China

• May 2002, Save China’s Tigers donated infra-cameras and camera equipment to the State Forestry Administration of China to continue monitoring the possible existence of the Chinese Tigers in the Wild.

• Year 2002, Stuart Bray, acquired 33,000 hectares of land in South Africa for the Chinese Tiger project’s Rewilding program.

• Year 2002, SCT developed and fine-turned the Chinese Tiger Conservation Model - Saving and protecting wildlife through eco-tourism by using the Chinese Tiger as flagship and combining conservation with Chinese culture and heritage, making wildlife conservation sustainable in the long term.

• Nov 2002, Dr. Ron Tilson declared the wild Chinese Tigers extinct

• Nov 2002, Save China’s Tigers set up Chinese Tigers South African Trust as an operational arm for the Chinese Tiger Re-wilding and Reintroduction Project

• Nov 2002, Save China’s Tigers and the Chinese Tigers SA Trust signed an historical agreement with the Wildlife R&D Centre of the State Forestry Administration of China on the Reintroduction of the Chinese Tigers into the Chinese Wild in 2008

• Year 2003, SCT set up the operational team in South Africa composed of South Africa’s top scientists and conservationists: Petri Viljeon, Jeremy Anderson, Marc Stallmans, Richard Davis, Gus Van Dyk, etc.

• July 2003, Save China’s Tigers and Cathay Pacific signed sponsorship agreement for 6 years. During the next 6 years, Cathay Pacific Airways will be the official airline of Save China’s Tigers. One of the first Chinese Tigers sent to SA for Rewilding training is named after the airline- “Cathay” as an appreciation of Save China’s Tigers for the airline’s support.

• September 2003, two Chinese Tiger cubs Cathay and Hope embarked on their historic journey to South Africa for Rewilding Training

• November 2003, Save China’s Tigers sent first South African team of experts composed of highly respected ecologists to China for ecological survey of the proposed 10 candidate Chinese Tiger Pilot Reserve Sites in four provinces

• February 2004, Save China’s Tigers sent second South African team of experts composed of resource economists and South African government conservation officials to survey top two candidate sites in Jiangxi and Hunan province

• July 2004, Cathay and Hope caught their first African antelope and ate it.

• October 29, 2004, another two Chinese Tiger cubs “TigerWoods” and “Madonna” left China for SA to receive rewilding training in the Chinese Tiger Rewilding Center in Laohu Valley Reserve. Jan 2005, they caught their first guinea fowl and ate them.

• March 12, 2005 Cathay and Hope are collared, ready to move into a 600 hectare Rewilding camp from the current 68 hectare camp.

• May 2005, SCT launched Tang the Tiger Cub, a book aimed at kids between 4 and 10.

• May 2005, TigerWoods and Madonna caught their first blesbok and ate it.

• August 20, 2005, Hope unfortunately died of pneumonia and heart failure.

• Dec 18/19, 2005, an international workshop was held in Beijing on the Chinese Tiger Reintroduction project and major international organizations such as the IUCN Cat Specialist Group, WCS and etc all attended and the Beijing Proposal to quicken the steps of the Chinese Tiger Reintroduction Project was issued from the workshop.

• February 2006, TigerWoods and Madonna were released into a 42 hectare camp to learn hunting on their own, so far successfully.

• April 2006, the State Forestry Administration of China approved Zixi of Jiangxi province and Liuyang of Hunan province as candidate sites and fund raising efforts are started to raise sponsorship and investment for the first Chinese Tiger Pilot Reserve.

• June 2006, Save China’s Tigers launched the Jackie Chan Tiger Face Awareness campaign in Hong Kong with the actor.

• April 2007, the David Tang Tiger Breeding Center was completed at Laohu Valley Reserve

• April 23, 2007 a stud South China Tiger No. 327 was translocated from Suzhou Zoo of Jiangsu Province of China to Laohu Valley Reserve in South Africa, to start the breeding program.

• Nov 23, 2007, Cathay gave birth to her first cub, which was also the first South China Tiger cub born outside of China. It was an important milestone not only for Save China's Tigers' ambitious undertaking, but also an unprecedented achievement in tiger conservation history.

• March 30, 2008, Cathay successfully had her second litter and gave birth to 2 cubs at Laohu Valley Reserve, South Africa.

• April 12, 2008, the South China Tiger, Madonna gave birth for the first time to two cubs at Laohu Valley Reserve. One survived after the difficult birth, but died 7 days later at Lory Park due to bacterial infection.

• Aug 18, 2008, Madonna gave birth to a second litter of cubs, a boy and a girl. She has been rearing them on her own, and in a completely natural environment, doing what a wild tigress would do in the wild for the cubs. This is another milestone in Save China’s Tigers Breeding program.

• By November 2009, Madonna and her one-year old cubs had made 30 kills in one period of under two months of rewilding training. Adolescent Hulooo & brothers, though separated from mother Cathay at an early age, had made 21 kills in 18 days. The difference in proficiency could be attributed to the fact that Madonna’s technique of teaching by example requires more time and dedication than the brothers’ learning by trial and error.

• Dec 16, 2009: the first cub sired by 327 was born, but was unfortunately taken by a predator on its seventh day. This highlighted the danger of living in the wild, particularly for young cats.

• Jan 2010, South China Tiger Diary was published by China Literature Press in Beijing. The book was compiled from SCT team’s tiger monitoring diaries.

• Jan 2010, SCT launched the “Last South China Tiger” body painting by artist Craig Tracy to raise awareness. It was an instant hit but the viewing was restricted by Youtube after one month unfortunately.

• Feb 2010, SCT launched Tiger Tram campaign in HK to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Tiger and raise awareness.

• Feb 2010, SCT partnered with Wests Tigers in Sidney to launch Tiger year awareness campaigns.

• July 2010, Dr. Gary Koehler and Petri Viljeon visited the proposed interim site– Meihuashan, for the return of the first South China Tigers from South Africa to help design the next steps needed.

• Sept 12 to 16, 2010, SCT held its first and extremely crucial Rewilding scientific workshop attended by some of the world’s foremost wild cat biologists who evaluated the results SCT rewilding project. They not only unanimously regarded the project as successful but viewed it as a potential model for future big cat conservation.

• Oct 13, 2010, SCT celebrated its ten year anniversary and launched a photo documentary book “Rewilded-Saving the South China Tiger”, which chronicled the fight for survival by the South China Tigers under rewilding training at Laohu Valley Reserve in South Africa.

• January 31, 2011, a new female cub was born to Cathay and 327 at Laohu Valley Reserve. To avoid similar hazard happened to 327's first cub, this precious little South China Tiger was retrieved for hand-rearing in indoor environment in her 3rd day after she had received plenty of Colostrum from her Mommy.

• May 17th, 2011, two second generation tigers born at Laohu Valley, JenB and Coco were fitted with GPS/Radio collars for study of their hunting behaviour in the 100 ha camp. A collared blesbok was also released but was hunted within a week by JenB. A second collared blesbok was released subsequently and was also hunted within a few days by the tigers. These hunts show the amazing proficiency of the second generation tigers’ hunting abilities.

• June 11th, 2011, presentation given at the 40th anniversary celebration of Feline Conservation Federation’s Florida Conference.

• July 20th, 2011, Cathay gave birth to two more tiger cubs sired again by 327. He should be so proud now! The total number of South China Tigers at Laohu Valley now reaches 12.

• Aug 2011, Save China’s Tigers presented its tiger rewilding results at the annual conference of Society for Ecological Restoration in Mexico.

• Sept 17, 2011, 327 - the only tiger who came from Chinese zoo that didn’t learn to hunt due to his mature age, went through an electrified fenced gate to challenge another mature male who instead killed him. In a perverse way this accident shows that the rewilding project has proven to be a success.

• Oct 9th, 2011, Madonna gave birth to our first litter of triplet sired by 327, and ALL females. The total number of South China Tigers at Laohu Valley now reaches fourteen.

• Dec 2011, Save China’s Tigers presented its tiger rewilding results at the annual conference of Society for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in New Zealand.

• April 6, 2012, the second generation South China Tiger born in South Africa “Huwaa” was seen to make a kill during a hunt, a first witnessed kill.

• June 22, 2012, Li Quan and SCT gave an US congressional briefing on the role of reintroduction in wildlife conservation jointly with Dr. S Montfort, Director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

• June 26, 2012, tiger scientist Dr. John Seidensticker of the Smithsonian Institution made official announcement that tiger rewilding can be done and should be considered a viable strategy to save wild tiger populations at the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI)’s Summary event in DC. This marked an important turning point for Save China’s Tigers which initiated and experimented with this model since 2002.

• July 10, 2012, Save China’s Tigers team gave a big presentation on its tiger rewilding and reintroduction project at the International Wildlife Management Congress (IWMC2012) in Durban, and released the world’s first tiger rewilding guidelines.

• Sept 16, 2012, one of the first South China Tigers born in complete natural environment in South Africa, Princess, gave birth herself to the first 3rd generation South China Tiger cub in South Africa. The father of the cub is the first South China Tiger born in South Africa, Hulooo. While a milestone in Save China’s Tigers project, unfortunately the cub was lost a few weeks later.

Photos and videos © Save China's Tigers UK Charity No.1082216