Recent work: Harbin Siberian Tiger Park

A tiger skeleton stands in a vat of tiger wine at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. The wine is said to imbue drinkers with various health benefits such as strength and virility.  The wine sells for 780 renminbi (about US$110.00) per half kilogram of liquid.
A tiger skeleton stands in a vat of tiger wine at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. The wine is said to imbue drinkers with various health benefits such as strength and virility. The wine sells for 780 renminbi (about US$110.00) per half kilogram of liquid.

I realized the other day just how long it’s been since I shared some of my own work on dva. I’ve been shooting a lot over the past few months, some on assignment, some on personal projects. Here’s a small piece from the Harbin Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China. These pictures fit in with my work on China’s deplorable zoos.

Tourists gather around tiger sculptures outside the entrance to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China. Tourists gather around tiger sculptures outside the entrance to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

It’s no wonder that Harbin’s Siberian Tiger Park is as well-known as it is. The park houses more than 100 of of the endangered Manchurian Tiger, also known as the Siberian Tiger, in a large grassland enclosure, and, most famously, allows visitors to ride in buses among the tigers and feed live chickens, cows, and other meat to the tigers. The park is partially funded by private donations and may serve a role in the preservation of the species, which numbers at less than 400 animals in the wild. One of the oddest features of the park is the visitors’ center. Shops there sell toys, stuffed animals, hats, and other items made from tiger fur, and various displays provide information about the species’ history. Additionally, one room is dominated by a large aquarium filled with wine and a whole tiger skeleton. The wine sells for 780 renminbi (about US$110.00) per half kilogram of liquid. People who drink the wine believe it is beneficial to one’s health, increasing one’s power, virility, and strength. The wine and other tiger products created from tigers at the park draw much criticism from animal rights activists and conservationists, and with good reason. While the park claims to preserve the species, little is apparently being done to rehabilitate the tigers, ready them for the wild, or, really, do anything other than entertain tourists and provide fodder for traditional Chinese medicine products and souvenir trinkets.

Tigers jump to grab pieces of chicken thrown by a zookeeper during feeding time at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.Tigers jump to grab pieces of chicken thrown by a zookeeper during feeding time at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.”

A woman burns ceremonial paper to mark the Lantern Festival, the end of the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival holiday, in a souvenir shop at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.A woman burns ceremonial paper to mark the Lantern Festival, the end of the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival holiday, in a souvenir shop at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

Large tiger sculptures decorate the entrance to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.Large tiger sculptures decorate the entrance to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

Stuffed animals and masks made with real tiger fur hang in a display for sale at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.Stuffed animals and masks made with real tiger fur hang in a display for sale at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

Visitors to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China, ride a tourbus through a tiger enclosure to catch a glimpse of the endangered animal.Visitors to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China, ride a tourbus through a tiger enclosure to catch a glimpse of the endangered animal.

Visitors to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China, ride a tourbus through a tiger enclosure to catch a glimpse of the endangered animal. Visitors to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China, ride a tourbus through a tiger enclosure to catch a glimpse of the endangered animal.

Souvenir vendors stand outside a kiosk selling stuffed tigers and other toys at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.Souvenir vendors stand outside a kiosk selling stuffed tigers and other toys at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.

Visitors hold small pieces of beef, purchased for about US$1.50, through a protective cage to feed to tigers at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.Visitors hold small pieces of beef, purchased for about US$1.50, through a protective cage to feed to tigers at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.” alt=”Visitors hold small pieces of beef, purchased for about US$1.50, through a protective cage to feed to tigers at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.

Tigers run to cages after feeding time at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.Tigers run to cages after feeding time at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.

A zookeeper plays with a tiger after feeding time at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.A zookeeper plays with a tiger after feeding time at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang Province, China.

Photographs of tigers decorate the entrance road to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.Photographs of tigers decorate the entrance road to the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.

A tourist leans past the first fence of a tiger enclosure to get a picture at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.A tourist leans past the first fence of a tiger enclosure to get a picture at the Siberian Tiger Park in Haerbin, Heilongjiang, China.

More work from the park available at my Photoshelter archive or through the embedded gallery below:



Harbin Tiger Park – Images by M. Scott Brauer

One Response to “Recent work: Harbin Siberian Tiger Park”

  1. platle

    hi

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