Scientists handpick certain tigers, using a DNA database, to breed the next generation every year, the Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Park said in a statement yesterday. Liu Dan, chief engineer of the park, said the park has been controlling the tigers' population to around 1,000 in order to maintain the ecological balance.

The peak season for the breeding of Siberian tigers is in May and June. The cubs would be sent to a semi-wild environment of the park after living with their mothers for some 100 days, so that they can learn to run and hunt, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Siberian tigers are among the world's most endangered species. They mostly live in northeast China and eastern Russia.

The Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Park was established in 1986 for protection of the rare species.

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