Author John Saeki writes…
Hey, Hong Kong friends, do you have a tiger story in your family? Maybe a grandparent saw a pair of shining eyes staring through the dark forest? Maybe your mum or dad saw one stalking a muntjac? Maybe an uncle lost a pig in the night? Maybe you heard a thunderous roar?
If you are a person who has a tiger story in your family, then you will know one of Hong Kong’s best kept secrets.
Tigers came here. They came far more frequently than many would believe.
I am trying to find as many local tiger stories as I can. I want to talk to you, if you have a family member, or an old school friend, or anybody you know, who has a Hong Kong tiger yarn.
I would like to put these stories together into a book called The Last Tigers of Hong Kong. Please get in touch if you want to tell me something about the Lord of the Hundred Beasts prowling this territory!
Most people who have an interest in Hong Kong’s wildlife have probably heard the two famous stories. The 1915 Sheung Shui Tiger was responsible for the death of two policemen, Rattan Singh and Ernest Goucher, before it was shot and displayed at City Hall. The Stanley Tiger of 1942 terrorised prisoners and guards alike outside the Japanese internment camp until it was killed by an Indian guard. You can see the head of the Sheung Shui tiger at the police museum at Wanchai Gap, and you can see the skin of the Stanley tiger inside the Tin Hau temple beside the Stanley Plaza shopping complex.
If you were like me you probably lazily assumed, without thinking too deeply about the issue, that these were the remnants of an ancient local group, and that they were probably the last tigers of Hong Kong.
I was first jolted out of this thought when I came across an article in an excellent, but now sadly demised, online magazin