China approves national park to protect rare big cats

The sprawling park will span 5,600 square miles, more than double the area of Yellowstone National Park in the US.

Amur Leopard
© Richard Gillin at Flickr

Chinese officials have approved the plans to establish the park in the provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang, the latter of which borders both North Korea and Russia.

According to The Huffington Post, the park will be a sanctuary to the two rare big cats who are dangerously close to extinction: the Amur leopard and the Siberian tiger, which is also known as the Amur tiger.

Dale Miquelle, a conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society said that the park is one of the largest big cat reserves in the world.

He said, “China’s commitment represents an extremely important step in recovering both subspecies in northeast Asia.”

Along with protecting the endangered animals, Fan Zhiyong, species program director with WWF Beijing, said he hopes that the park will also promote greater cooperation between Russia and China for wildlife protection in the region.

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