A Siberian tiger photographed in Hunchun, Jilin province, in 2015.
The number of big cats in the northeastern province is rising after decades of conservation efforts
One evening in July last year, Yang Yongsheng was washing his feet in a creek near his home in the mountains when he noticed a Siberian tiger staring at him from a bush about 3 meters away.
Suddenly something that had puzzled Yang for a few days became clear. "The tiger did it," thought the resident of Yilinangou, a village under the jurisdiction of Hunchun, Jilin province, Northeast China.
"It" was the fact that on three consecutive nights, dogs Yang kept to guard his yard had gone missing. The three leashes that held them to posts had been torn apart.
Yang rushed home, grabbed his smartphone and returned to the spot, where he managed to take several photos of the tiger. A month later, the animal returned and killed another dog.
A year later, with the help of his son, Yang has installed surveillance cameras at his house, focused on the yard. Despite that, the 76-year-old villager is still concerned about his safety.
"If the tiger shows up again, I could be a victim," he said. "Tiger numbers, along with their areas of activity, have increased significantly in recent years."