Monday, October 29, 2007

Photos of the South China Tiger

This is the hottest search keyword on Yahoo China today, 2,319,791 searches in one day.

In essence, this is another real-or-fake news that frequently happens in China. (see Beijing's Fake Pork Buns). This time the culprit is a tiger in the photo below. Can you tell whether it's real or not?


Zhou Zhenglong, a farmer and former hunter in Zhenping County, Shaaanxi Province, took 71 photos of a South China tiger on October 3rd. The experts from the provincial Forestry Administration examined the photos and announced: yep, the near-extinct South China tigers are back. No one has seen them since 1986 but now they are back again.

Zhenping County, a small village with 57,000 people, is suddenly in the spotlight and becomes the hottest tourism destination for nature-loving college students.

Zhou (pictured below) is hoping to sell these photos for a big fortune. He is asking 1 million RMB.

But soon people started to question the authenticity of the photos. They are saying that the photos are real alright, but the tiger was just a painting on a piece of cardboard. Zhou got really pissed and said "I will cut off my head if the photos are fake!" although no one thinks he will really do that. Zhou is currently in Beijing as the State Forestry Administration carries out a proper investigation on the matter. The result will be announced via Xinhua or a press conference.

I have my money on "fake". I just don't believe that a near-extinct tiger would pose so nicely for the camera. You are talking about meeting eye-to-eye with one of the eight remaining tigers (according to villagers' own estimate) in a forest of 47196 acres. Sure. Nevertheless, Zhenping County has become famous, even the welcoming billboard at the entrance of the village has a tiger on it now.


Tiger photos raise questions

The South China Tiger Photographs

1 comment:

harrietalice said...

no way.That is definitely a real tiger