Tiger Culture

Test word on mouseover

Why Use the Chinese Tiger as the Emblem?

We summarize our effort as "Three Tigers": Spiritual Tiger, Cultural Tiger and Ecological Tiger.

We save the Chinese Tiger, also known as the South China Tiger, not only because it is the most endangered subspecies of tigers. The Chinese tiger is the direct descendent of the ancestral tiger, which originated in China 2 million years ago. Yet, less than 100 Chinese tigers are left in the world, and 60 of them are in captivity. If we do not act now, they are likely to become extinct. This is their last chance for survival and our last chance to save them. More importantly, the Chinese tiger has profound spiritual, cultural, and ecological significance.

Spiritual Tiger: First of all, throughout Chinese history, the tiger has incited in us a sense of both awe and admiration: its prowess, its ferocity, its beauty and harmony of the opposites. The tiger is full of life and embodies the spirit and drive to achieve and make progress. No other animal holds more fascination than the tiger.

Cultural Tiger: Secondly, the Chinese tiger is historically our cultural symbol. No other animal inspired more imagination, stories, paintings, poetry than the tiger. The earliest tiger statue was found in the Neolithic period in China 7000 years ago; The Year of the Tiger, tiger shoes & hats; the Tiger seal, Tiger Tally and Tiger General; The idioms and poetic renderings such as: Tiger roaring & dragon singing-the world is peaceful; Mountain and Valley replying- the people are wealthy and the country strong.

Ecological Tiger: It is also an Ecological & Environmental Tiger. Being at the top of the food chain, the Chinese tiger is an umbrella species and in saving the Chinese Tiger, many other plants and wildlife throughout the entire eco-system can be restored and saved. With increased human encroachment, the habitats of animals are becoming increasingly reduced. The negative impact on humans is immense, for the decline of wildlife population is synonymous with the deterioration of our nature, from which we humans also sprung.

To summarize: it demonstrates that China is committed to saving the eco-system through a fierce determination to take on such a difficult task as restoring the most endangered Chinese Tiger. It shows that China is interested in more than just progress in technology and modernization but in the future of the planet. It will also tell those who do not yet know about China's effort in wildlife conservation, that China is continuing on the right track. The world can join in this achievement too by encouraging, helping and supporting China in her positive and enthusiastic effort.

In other words, through conservation of the Chinese Tigers, we hope to restore habitats and other wildlife, promote Chinese culture and redevelop the Chinese tiger spirit, as well as bridge understanding between China and others.

Famous people born under the sign of the Tiger:

Ancient Tiger People

  • Ptolemy 90 (mathematician/astronomer/geographer),
  • Muhammad, Prophet of Islam 570 CE,
  • Francis of Assisi, 1182 (founded the Franciscan Order),
  • Marco Polo, September 15 1254,
  • Francis Xavier, April 7 1506 (Co-founder of the Jesuits),
  • Ivan the Terrible, August 25 1530 (the first Russian Tsar),
  • Mary Queen of Scots, December 1542,
  • Louis XIV of France, September 5 1638,
  • Ludwig von Beethoven, 1770,
  • Karl Marx, May 5 1818 (philosopher/political economist) &
  • Emily Bronte, July 30 1818.

Tiger People Today

  • Sir David Attenborough,
  • Tom Cruise,
  • Tom Berenger,
  • Agatha Christie,
  • Leonardo DiCaprio,
  • Frederick Forsyth,
  • Jodie Foster,
  • Stevie Wonder,
  • Sir Alec Guiness,
  • Hugh Hefner,
  • William Hurt,
  • Dylan Thomas,
  • Marilyn Monroe,
  • Demi Moore,
  • Kate Moss.

Background information of the tiger

The tiger has been common in the southern provinces of China and in Manchuria in northeast China and revered by the Chinese as a creature with many symbolic attributes. Each direction of the compass is traditionally believed to be ruled by a mythical creature; the White Tiger is the ruler of the West. The tiger is also associated with autumn, when it comes down from the mountains into villages, and is personified by the constellation Orion, which is prominent in autumn. In Chinese astrology, the start Alpha of the Great Bear constellation gave birth to the first tiger. The tiger represents the masculine principle in nature and is king of all the animals, as shown by the four stripes on his forehead which form the character Wang, or Prince. The tiger is regarded as one of the four super-intelligent creatures, along with the dragon, phoenix and tortoise; for centuries, the four have been a major design motif in Chinese art. In southern China, on the tiger's birthday on the second moon in the lunar calendar, fixed in the Western calendar as March 6, women worship the White Tiger. They place paper images of the tiger in their homes to keep away rats and snakes and prevent quarrels. On this date, effigies of the tiger are also put in front of temple buildings for people to make offerings. The God of Wealth, the deified Marshal Chao Gongming (Ch'ao Kung-ming), is depicted riding a black tiger and holding a silver ingot. The Chinese call an able general a tiger general and a brave solider a tiger warrior.

In Chinese folktales, tigers kill evil men and protect good men. Tiger charms are used to keep away disease and evil, and babies are given colourfully embroidered tiger shoes for protection. Tigers frequently decorate children's clothing and tops. The "Tiger Claw" (hu chao) amulet is believed to ward off sudden fright and give the wearer the courage of the tiger. Because the tiger wards off disasters, it is popular as one of the nine gods worshiped at the New Year Festival. Tiger images are painted on the walls of homes and temples to keep away evil spirits. Dragon-Tiger Mountain is the name for the palace of the hereditary head of the Daoist religion, located in the Dragon Tiger Mountains of Jiangxi Province, east of the capital city of Nanchang. Zhang Daoling (Chang Tao-ling), the "First Master of Heaven" in the Daoist religion, is depicted riding a tiger and carrying a demon-dispelling sword as he escorts the dead to their final destination. A Daoist legend tells of two brothers who took on the role of protecting human beings by capturing demons and throwing them to tigers.

As the enemies of evil spirits, especially those who torment the dead, tigers are carved on tombs and monuments. The Chinese system of feng shui (geomancy) requires that a burial site be higher on the right side, the stronger side of the body, so that the White Tiger can guard it; the Azure Dragon guards the left side, the body's weaker side. The tiger is the third animal in the 12-year animal zodiac. People born in the Year of the Tiger are thought to be brave, strong, stubborn and sympathetic. The tiger represents the greatest earthly power as well as protection over human life. It chases away the so-called "three disasters": fire, thieves and ghosts.

Prince Sa Chui

The pre-existance of Buddha was the third Prince of Da che Kingdom.
His name was Sa Chui. One day, these three princes made a trip in the mountain and saw a tiger mother with several tiger cubs. The mother was so hungry that it had to eat its cubs. The Third Prince could not bear this. To save tigers' life, he decided to sacrifice himself. He lied to his brothers and pulled them away. Then he took off his clothes and jumped off the cliff to put himself in front of the tiger. But the mother tiger was too weak to bite him. So Prince Sa Chui went back on the cliff again and punctured his own throat by branch before he jumped off again. This time the hungry tiger could drink his blood and eat his body.

His two brothers waited and waited but didn't see their younger brother
back, so they look for him back on the way. When they saw their younger brother was eaten up by the hungry tiger and there was only remains left, they cried to the body and fell into deep sorrow. At last they reported this to the King and build a temple to honour him.

This story later became one of the most described stories in Wall Paintings of Buddhism in China.

Xingfu Temple

Xingfu Temple is located at the north of Changshu, beside Yu Mountain. It was built in the South Qi Dynasty. A citizen named Mudeguang from Chen donated his house to build this temple with the first name Daci Temple, which means great mercy. It was said in the year of Zhenguan, there were two dragons mated here and made river cleave the mountain. So this temple was also named Cleave Mountain Temple. On the ninth year of Xiantong of Emperor Yizong, Tang Dynasty, the temple was awarded a big bell as well as the new name, Xingfu Temple.

There once been an honoured monk who named Yan Chen lived in this temple. He was a man of virtue and lived a simple life. One day when he on a pavilion, he saw a tiger hurt by an arrow was roaring on the ground. He went down to the pavilion immediately and carefully pulled out the arrow from the tiger. The tiger closed its eyes and lapped its blood out and then went away with a look to him. On the next morning, when the hunter came here on the track, Yan Chen showed him the arrow. The hunter at last realised and never hunted animals again. From then on this pavilion was named as Pavilion of Saving Tiger.

The origin of tiger people

The Tiger People of Lili Minority take tiger as their God. They never hunt tigers and it is said when they meet tigers, they won't be hurt too. Every Tiger Year, the leader of their clan will have sacrifice with all members to bow to wood-made tiger sculptures or tiger pictures. Then the old will sing a song in Muguabu tone, tell the story of the origin of Tiger People, so that no offspring will forget it. At last, they will drink and sing and dance together till the next morning.
Why they worship tigers so much? It has a story of that.

Long, long ago, when the mountain was covered by thick forest and the bank of Nu River was full of eryngoes, tigers often appeared here. At that time there were only a few families living on the small hill beside the forest. They made their living by open wasteland to plant buckwheat and hunt for birds and deer.

Among these people there was a young maid who lived in the foot of the hill alone. Her parents died very early and she had no brothers and sisters. One day when she was chopping firewood in the forest, a tiger suddenly appeared with a squall. The girl was so scared that she ran away crying. She ran and ran, her feet were lacerated by the stones, her hands were staved by the silver chain, her clothes were sweat, and her wind was lost. She run to the foot of a giant tree, and decided to climb up. At that time she looked back but only found a handsome young man standing behind her. She felt pleasantly surprised and asked, "Did you see a tiger just now?"
"No." The young man shook his head.
"Isn't that a tiger running outside the forest just now? I was so frightened that I left my chopping work and ran here."
"Just now it's me coming outside the forest. I saw you were working alone and wanted to help you. As to the tiger, may be you had a mistake."
The girl was still puzzled but the young man had seized her axe and helped with her chopping. They work together and talked with each other till the sunset. They chopped too much firewood for the girl to carry it by herself. The young man said, "It's going to be dark soon. Could I help you to carry the firewood back?"

The girl was a little bit worried, "There is nobody else in my home. What will other people say when they see us?"
The young man said cordially, "If you don't mind, you can tell others I am your husband."
The girl shyly nodded.

From then on they lived a happy life together. Everyday the husband hunted in the forest and brought deer or muntjac back and the wife cooked them at home. She soon found there were only imprint of grasp or bite on the prey, but no scar of knife or arrow. It was odd, but she didn't ask her husband how he hunted these animals particularly.

Several years later, they had their children. One day, the man went to the forest again and the woman weaved at home. One of her female friends in her youth came and asked her to pick mushrooms in the forest with her. So they went to the forest with her elder son and her younger daughter on her back. When they just came to the middle of the hill, they saw a tiger on the next hill running after a muntjac. It caught the muntjac at last on their hill. Suddenly, the tiger turned to a man, he carried the muntjac on his shoulder and came down the hill. The woman knew he was her husband when he came near. The man saw his wife, her friends and his children and asked happily, "Are you here to pick mushrooms?"

But they just looked at him in afraid and have no words to say. He looked back at the next hill and understood everything. Hence, he put the muntjac down and said sadly, "My secret is exposed and I can't live in the village anymore. I must go now." After these words, he peered at her wife and children in deep sorrow. Tears run down his cheeks. Then he ran back into the thick forest without looking back. The woman and her children regained their consciousness and cried to ask him back, but it was too late. The man had never returned.

When the children grew up, they were called Laba, which means Tiger People.

The tiger image in Chinese culture
By Xiaolin

The image of tiger are seen all over ancient songs and dramas like the Vari-Drama Card of Tiger Head in Yuan dynasty, the Romance Story and Kun Qu on the Tiger bags in Qing dynasty, the Peking Opera Tiger Jail, Sleeping Tiger Channel, Tiger Beauty etc. From all of these tiger stories there are two most exciting ones which describe human and tiger fighting. One is a Wrestling Skill Drama popular at Changan Area in Han Dynasty, called The Old Huang of Eastern Sea, which was particularly recorded in Xijing Notes, written by Gehong in Jing Dynasty.

It was said, "In the place named Eastern Sea there was a man called Old Huang who always wore bronze sword and bound his hair with red silk could tame tremendous snakes and tigers by magic arts in his youth. But when he got older, he drank too much to use his magic any more. In the late Qin Dynasty, a white tiger appeared in the Eastern Sea and he brought his bronze sword to kill it. For the magic failed he was killed by the tiger at last. Later this affair was made to a drama by People of Three Fu and the Emperor of Han also took it as a wrestling skill."

At this period of time people still look upon tiger with reverence and awe. Because even the magic skilled man like Old Huang in Eastern Sea is killed by the tiger at last. But the other story also describing human and tiger fighting which was changed to Peking opera and other kind of operas from Water Margin named Wusong's fight for the tiger has an absolutely different result: Wusong killed the tiger and became a hero. There are also a lot of derogatory senses for the phrases on tigers in Chinese. For example, Weihuzuochang, play the jackal to the tiger, means the people who was eaten by tigers will become a ghost to help the tiger to eat others; Hujiahuwei, bully people by flaunting one's powerful connections, tells the story of a clever fox threaten the tiger by using the tiger's power.

A wide-spread tale is called Tiger's Skill says, though the tiger is the most powerful animal in the forest, it has a biggest weakness: it can not climb the trees. That's because in the ancient times when the unskilled tiger learned from cat, the cat found it was quite inhumanity, so it didn't taught him all the skills.

After the tiger finished his courses, he really swooped to the cat in order to eat it. The cat climbed to a tree at once and avoided the attack. The tiger begged the cat to teach him the climbing skills under the tree but the cat refused. Hence from then on the tiger can't climb trees still.

Luyou, the great poet in Song Dynasty write in the comments of his Ridicule to Feeding Cats of Jiannan Peotry Anthology, "The old saying says cats are the uncle of tigers. It taught tigers all the skills except climbing trees." This story ideally satirizes those who ungrateful to others. Other legends concerning about tigers or names of tiger are numerous in ancient China. Also, there is a Tiger Year in every twelve years according to the Chinese Twelve Shengxiao custom, meaning twelve animals representing the twelve Earthly Branches, used to symbolize the year in which a person is born.

For China has a large impact to other countries, and it also has the largest population of the world, the migration of Chinese brings Chinese custom, including the Twelve Shengxiao custom to the every corner of the world. Nowadays the custom of naming years by 12 animals has influenced not only Asian countries and Russia, but also Europe and America. Especially the derivation of the Tiger Year and its legends are widely popularized by many medias, which made the Tiger Year the real Benming Year, the birth year same with one of twelve animals representing the years in which people are born.

Are you a tiger?

The Chinese Horoscope is based on the Lunar Chinese calendar year instead of month. The Tiger is the third animal in the Chinese horoscope, after rat and ox, and before rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. You would be a tiger if you are born between:

  • February 8, 1902 and January 28, 1903
  • January 26, 1914 and February 13, 1915
  • February 13, 1926 and February 1, 1927
  • January 31, 1938 and February 18, 1939
  • February 17, 1950 and February 5, 1951
  • February 5, 1962 and January 24, 1963
  • January 23, 1974 and February 10, 1975
  • February 9, 1986 and January 28, 1987
  • January 28, 1998 and February 15, 1999

The third character profile of the twelve earth branches is that of the Tiger. Hi is called Yin in Chinese and symbolizes passion and integrity. The Yin or Tiger personality surveys his world and sees it through the eyes of an idealist. Life is a gigantic stage to him, on which he will no doubt be playing many leading roles. Competitive, outspoken and courageous, he will take on any and all comers with a positive "never say die" attitude.

His primary goal in life is to be involved with something that makes a difference in the world - preferably, a huge difference. A humanitarian at heart, he will always try to support a worthy cause, champion the rights of the underdog and fight for those, like children or animals, who cannot defend themselves. Not one who shrinks from controversy, he tends to be a rebel or an activist if he feels his views are being ignored.

Colourful, unpredictable and commanding, the Tiger person provokes a reaction wherever he goes and in whatever he does or says. Extremely charming, playful and outgoing at his best, he can also be annoyingly suspicious, accusing and ill - tempered at his worst. He may act rashly at one moment and then hesitate to deliver the final blow when the time comes. He has a soft heart and, for all his fireworks, is not half as vicious or ruthless as he would like others to believe. He often gives the wrong impression to lesser mortals who do not understand or fail to appreciate his flair for the dramatic. This impulsive person is bound to say or do in a moment of anger things that he will later regret.

The Tiger, like the Horse and the Dog are guided by their emotions. Compassionate and armed with noble intentions, they are society's self-appointed defenders of justice, extroverted and energetic in pursuing their goals. At times they may be opinionated and unorthodox in their methods (bordering on extreme measures when they feel the necessity). Aggressive and defiant when challenged, these people simply do not back down under pressure or opposition. Those who are more highly strung may even relish confrontation. But in general, a native of this group is true to his conscience and reacts swiftly in response to his feelings. Above all, personalities of this group are renowned for their courage and convictions.

To get along with the Tiger one must understand his sense of honour and equality. If he is convinced he is doing something for the benefit of all, he is always willing to make the necessary sacrifices. He is honest and open in his dealings, although at times too brash when he is optimistic. To work well with the Tiger person, direct contact is necessary. One must be able to be on the same wavelength as he is and provide the stimuli to make him react positively. He tends to work by instincts and whatever vibrations he picks up are often on the mark. His uncanny ability to gravitate towards the heart of the matter and home in on the source of the trouble is difficult to explain but easy to observe. First impressions and gut feelings mean a lot to the Tiger and he will be able to assess people and situations with one look. Guided by emotions, he is likely to have a magnetic and colourful personality. A forceful speaker and irrepressible performer, he will often be at the centre of controversy or public attention, whether or not he deliberately planned to become so involved.

The personality type of the third branch is not very interested in planning. He has the drive and enthusiasm for spur of the moment inspirations, but would prefer to leave the details and scheduling to others. Don't spoil his fun with all the dreary facts and figures and the warnings on the label. This person often needs special protection from himself as his obstinacy and undisciplined attitude could make him his own worst enemy. On the other hand, it will be surprising how many times luck favours his enterprise and ideas. However, his impetuous and imperious ways can be checked or curled by strong but devoted associations.

The theatrical tiger type may be a joy to be with or a holy terror. Charming, captivating and passionate, he will never want to be accused of being lukewarm about anything. Like a lightning rod, he reaches out and grabs whatever currents are flying about. Telling him to shut up would be like putting a lid on a pressure cooker. He will only blow up with a greater force. Most of the time, he will insist on being actively involved in projects and on being part of all discussions.

If he is throwing a tantrum, do not shut him out or be drawn into an unproductive argument with him. In his negative state, he considers and criticism or opposition as a power struggle and will react with belligerence. In such cases, simply hold your ground, interrupt by saying his name repeatedly and then calmly state his main points and yours in a quiet, non-threatening way. You may have to do this over and over again before it can penetrate but it will be worth the effort. This will establish enough control (however temporary) for you to help him see reason or focus his attention on something else. Since he is not very persistent or objective when his is aroused, he is easy to mollify if one does not take his outbursts too seriously. In a confrontation, however, it is always advisable to work things out face to face and not delegate the tiger-taming task to others. He cannot tolerate secondhand information and this can often lead to major misinterpretation on his part. This is because Tiger people tend to be suspicious and irrational when they are not reassured or advised on what is happening every step of the way. Like a wayward child, one has to hold the Tiger's hand and lead him slowly towards the right path. Once he sees the way and the reason for your assistance, he will be able to continue happily in the correct direction with his won speed and initiative. Punishment and threats do not work well on the personality and will only bring forth his rebellious spirit. He is also not good at working through channels and would rather get things straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

Tiger Shoes

Tiger shoes are commonly found on babies' feet in the countryside of China even today. The shoes are entirely made of cloth and their toe-caps are made into tiger's head. There is a popular story behind their long history.

Long ago, in the famous old town Yangzhou lived a boatman called Big Yang, who was very generous and ready to help others. Because of his charities, he got an old drawing as a present from an old female passenger. In the picture, a beautiful woman was embroidering a pair of tiger shoes. The boatman was very pleased with the gift. He liked the picture dearly. As soon as he got home, he put it on the wall above his bed.

One evening, the woman in the picture stepped out of the picture and spent time with Big Yang. Since then, they met every night. Years later, they had a son who brought much happiness to the couple. But unfortunately, the magic picture was seized away by the official of the town, who had heard about the beauty in Big Yang's picture. Big Yang was angry with the evil official though he could do nothing. The greedy official put the picture on the wall above his bed and waited the woman to come down every night. To his disappointment, nothing happened.

The son was crying for his mother. The father tried to deceive him into believing that his mother had gone far away to the west. The son insisted on looking for his mother. Finally, the son went on the trip to find his mother. He travelled westwards day and night, and in the end, he saw his mother in a pool in the forest bathing together with many other fairies. "Well, my son, how have you been looking for Mum a long way here!" said the mother, weeping the tears off her son's cheeks. "Mum, let's go home. You know how I missed you." "We won't meet until you go into the official's bed room, wearing that pair of tiger shoes I made for you. My son. Shut your eyes, and I'll send you home first."

After a whirl of gale, the son was surprised to find himself already at home. He informed the official that he could call down the lady from the picture. On hearing the news, the evil official was very pleased for he was eager to find a way to get in touch with the beauty. So the boy was led directly into the bedroom. As soon as the boy saw his mother, he spoke to the picture. "Mum, let's go!" the son said deeply. The mother got down right away and walked out with the support of her son. But the evil official stopped them right away. He wanted to detain the beauty as his concubine forcefully, but he was refused. The official became angry and thrust at the mother and son. The boy fought back bravely. While they were fighting, the tiger shoes shook off from the boy's feet and turned into a large tiger. It jumped up quickly over to the sinful official. The calls for help from the poor man and the roars from the fierce tiger were mixed together, which was heard by the whole town. It was the tiger shoes that saved the mother and son, and the family united again. Since then, people made tiger shoes for their own babies hoping the family and their babies will be well protected.

The tiger in Chinese culture

King of the Beasts
The Tiger has always featured heavily in Chinese culture and tradition. It has long been revered as a symbol of strength and power, and a subject of awe and fear.

The Tiger is the third sign of the Chinese Zodiac, and is thought of as Ruler of the beasts on Earth. A person born in the year of the Tiger is courageous, optimistic, tolerant and generous. They can expect a long life, and were born to command, not to obey.

The Chinese have interpreted the marking on the tiger's forehead as the pictogram Wang, also a common family name, meaning "king". Or rather, because of the tiger's power as king of the forest and the marking on its head, the marking was adopted into the Chinese language meaning "king". The Tiger is a yang animal, and is associated with the powerful male principle of courage, bravery, dignity and austerity. The Tiger is also known as the King of the Mountain, and it is said that it has the power to drive away evil. In times of war a Tiger's head would be painted onto soldiers' shields to terrify the enemy.

In Chinese folklore, Tigers are believed to be such powerful creatures that they are endowed with the ability to ward off the three main household disasters -- fire, thieves and evil spirits. A painting of a Tiger is often hung on a wall inside a building facing the entrance to ensure that demons would be too afraid to enter. Even in modern China, children wear tiger-headed caps and shoes embroidered with tiger heads to ward off evil spirits and sleep on tiger-shaped pillows to make them robust. During the year of the tiger, children have the character Wang painted on their foreheads in wine and mercury to promote vigour and health.

In ancient China, the Tiger was the principal animal god and was known as the Guardian Spirit of Agriculture, believed to drive away the Drought Demon.

It was believed that after 500 years a Tiger would turn white, and could then live for 1,000 years. When a Tiger died its spirit would enter the earth and become Amber. The original term for Amber was 'Soul of the Tiger'.

The tiger symbolizes Dignity and Prestige: The sign in the courts of ancient China "Huipi Sujing" - meaning "Silence and Respect"; "Tiger Tally" - a tiger-shaped tally issued to generals as imperial authorization for troop movement, and the tiger skin covered seats of heads of bandits in ancient China all convey this aspect.

Chinese Idioms

  • Longteng Huyue: Dragons rising and tigers leaping - a scene of bustling activity.
  • Huhu Shengfeng: Tigers gaining wind - describing action and liveliness.
  • Ruhu Tianyi: Like a tiger that has grown wings - meaning might redoubled.

Dr Sun Simiao and the Tiger
Long ago in ancient times there was a doctor by the name of Sun Simiao.

One fine day Sun was walking through mountains towards a small village with his shoulder pole carrying herbal medicines ready to treat his patients when suddenly behind a group of trees a larger tiger sprang out into his path.

Sun was frozen to the spot, too close to the tiger to run away and new he was no match for the tiger's strength. He stood waiting for the tiger to pounce when it crouched down in front of him with its powerful jaws wide open. Sun thought about running away but was curious as the tiger seemed so sad and helpless. Sun decided to edge closer to see what was wrong. As he neared he could see a large animal bone stuck in the back of the tiger's throat, being a man of medicine Sun wanted to help the tiger but was far to scared to try to put his hand in the tiger's mouth.

Sun pondered on this for a while and looked in his herbal bag for a solution, as he undid all his medicines he realised that the copper ring used to carry his equipment would be perfect. Sun put the copper ring into the front of the tiger's mouth and then placed his hand through the ring and freed the bone from the tiger's throat. Once Sun had cleaned the wound for the tiger he removed the copper ring.

The tiger sat up nodded his head in thanks and ran off into the bushes.

After that day all Chinese doctors who practice medicine carried a copper ring which was named "Hucheng" or "Huxian" (tiger support or tiger link). In recent times the copper ring has been changed to a hand bell which is still used as a protection talisman as Sun Simiao could save a tiger and not be eaten.

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