A rare family of Siberian tigers was captured on surveillance footage at the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park in Hunchun, Jilin Province, according to China’s state-owned media.
Xinhua news agency reported Friday the tigers were seen in an infrared camera recording. They appeared to be a family of five: a mother and four tiger cubs.
The footage was captured at 6 a.m. May 10, and may have been recently downloaded and observed by local authorities.
The tigers appear in the recording for about 50 seconds, and the mother tiger is seen caring for her cubs.
The Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park in a unique sanctuary for wildlife, covering two Chinese provinces but also bordering Russia and North Korea. It covers an area greater than 1.46 million hectares, according to Xinhua.
China has stepped up the protection of Siberian tigers, also known as the Amur tiger, in its northeastern provinces.
The tigers once ranged throughout the Korean Peninsula and north China, as well as the Russian Far East and eastern Mongolia, but are on the brink of extinction.
The total population in 2005 was less than 400 tigers, but numbers are stabilizing in some areas with an increase to 540 individual tigers in Russian territories by 2015.
Chinese wildlife policy has had some results. A population of four to six tigers in Jilin Province in 1998 has increased to 27 tigers by September 2018, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.
Tigers were also seen in surveillance footage publicized on Oct. 9. In footage from Tianqiaoling Forestry Bureau, a wild tiger was caught on camera, roaming the hills of Shinkai forest, according to Chinese state media.