While attending the local ice festival we also visited the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park. Indeed, the Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin is the world’s largest. Conveniently, this unique Harbin attraction is located close to the other amazing winter attractions such as Harbin Polarland and Harbin Ice and Snow World.
Introduction to the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park
Located on the north bank of the Songhua River, the 355 acre park facilitates 500 captive Siberian tigers. However, only 100 are visible to the park visitors.
Visitors view the tigers from the transport bus that brings them through the separate tiger enclosures. Therefore, park visitors can observe the tigers through the large bus windows. Additionally, there are ten park areas which segment the tigers according to their age and seniority.
Furthermore, the park features interactive areas where visitors can walk through and view the tigers in close proximity. Also, for an additional fee visitors can even feed live chickens to the hungry Siberian tigers! Other feeding options include having a cow or sheep turned loose in the tigers area to watch them kill and eat it.
Feeding the Siberian Tigers
After arrival at the park, we got our entrance tickets and then proceeded to board the bus. Fortunately, the bus had large picture windows for excellent viewing. Also, the bus was well heated!! This was a very important aspect for our comfort and survival. However, the tigers seemed quite comfortable out in the frozen environment.
Then to our surprise someone threw a live chicken in front of the tiger. Unknown to us, the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park tour includes feeding live animals to the tigers. We were caught by surprise because this was completely unexpected. However, it certainly added to the excitement because we had never seen a tiger fed live prey before.
Needless to say, this hungry Siberian tiger made short work of it and it really was only a mouthful of feathers for the most part. However, the tiger really seemed to appreciate the treat!
Siberian Tiger Park Observation Platform
After the bus tour through the tiger enclosures was completed, the bus dropped us off near the viewing platform. The viewing platform is an area where visitors can walk near the tigers and view them through a mesh wire fence. Additionally, live chickens were available for purchase.
This once again added to the excitement because some of the visitors wanted to feed the tigers. However, visitors would sometimes tease the tigers by dangling the chickens above them before the they finally dropped it into their enclosure.
This lone tiger would soon have a lot of company when his pals realized it was feeding time!
The Siberian tigers then equitably divided the helpless chicken into about 20 portions after a brief scuffle.
Preservation of China’s Endangered Wildlife
Unfortunately, recent estimates indicate only 300 Siberian tigers are left to roam in the wild. However, China has prioritized preservation of the Siberian tigers and other endangered species with national significance, such as the China Panda.
In addition, to the tiger park in Harbin there is a second preservation area for Siberian tigers in Heilongjiang Province. It is located in Mudanjiang and it is a large breeding center called “Hengdaohezi”.
Mudanjiang is about 355 kilometers to the northwest of Harbin. The Hengdaohezi Park holds about 300 Siberian tigers and it is the second largest tiger park China. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit the breeding center on this trip. Perhaps next time!