A group of Chinese officials recently had a terrifying encounter on their inspection trip with a local resident – a wild Siberian tiger.
The government workers were frozen with fear after spotting the endangered big cat from their car while examining a local forest farm in north-eastern China‘s Jilin Province on Monday.
But the majestic beast seemed to be nonchalant and intrigued by the visitors as footage shows the animal strolling around the road and stretching its legs in a relaxed manner.
The officials, who worked at the local forestry commission, had been inspecting the Dahuanggou Forest Farm in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, next to the border with North Korea, on November 2.
After they finished the investigation and got into their car, the officials were terrified to spot a wild Siberian tiger appearing in the woods next to the road, according to a report from the local government.
Scared but excited to see the animal, they rolled up the car windows and took some pictures before trying to drive away slowly.
But the curious big cat appeared to have been intrigued by the intruders as it followed behind the government car.
As the tiger showed no intention to attack, the officials were said to have calmed down and stopped on the road to observe the beast.
In a relaxed manner, the animal is seen stretching its legs and strolling around the road, seemingly unfazed by the visitors.
While walking in front of the car, the tiger occasionally stopped and turn around while gazing at the officials.
Although the big cat appeared to have been interested in the intruders, the officials were paralysed with fear.
A female officer can be heard saying: ‘My heart is beating so fast. This is so scary.’
After a few minutes, the animal seemed to have lost interest and walked further into the woods.
The spotted Siberian tiger appeared to have been in a healthy condition with a strong physique, the Yanbian government said in their report.
As the local ecosystem improved over time, a growing population of tigers and leopards in the local area had been recorded, the authorities added.
Siberian tigers are native to the Russian Far East and northeast China but are classed as an endangered species, with only about 500 of them left in the wild today.
As demand for tiger products continue, these already endangered big cats are being driven towards extinction.
Tigers are hunted as trophies and also for body parts that are used in traditional Chinese medicine.