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Breeding center expects 100 more Siberian tigers

HARBIN, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The world's largest breeding center for Siberian tigers in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province plans to increase its population by 100 Siberian tiger cubs this year, sources with the center said on Friday.

Liu Dan, chief engineer of the center, the Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Garden, said most of the Siberian tigers in the center chosen for the breeding plan have finished mating and will start to give birth to cubs around the end of April.

About 100 Siberian tiger cubs are expected to be born in the center this year, Liu said.

In the past 10 years, the center has adopted planned breeding of Siberian tigers so as to protect good genes in the population, according to Liu.

Siberian tigers are one of the world's rarest animal species. Only 300 are believed to be living in the wild, with 20 in northeast China.

The country has been trying to save the species through active breeding programs. The Heilongjiang center has bred more than 1,000 Siberian tigers since its establishment in 1986, when it had just eight of the large cats.

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