The Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Amur, Manchurian, Altaic, Korean, North China, or Ussuri Tiger, is a subspecies of tiger which once ranged throughout Western Asia, Central Asia and eastern Russia, though it is now completely confined to the Amur-Ussuri region of Primorsky Krai and Khabarovsk Krai in far eastern Siberia, where it is now protected. It is the biggest of the eight recent tiger subspecies and the largest living felid. The average male tiger weighs 600 pounds, and reports of exceptional specimens weighing as much as 850 pounds are common.

Siberian Tiger in The Opening of the WorldEdit

When Hamnet Thyssen's expedition crossed the Gap in the Glacier to the northern lands, they saw a large cat that resembled a lion or a sabertooth, except that it was striped. This kind of cat was unknown in the Raumsdalian Empire or the Bizogot lands. The Rulers referred to this cat as a tiger.

Siberian Tiger in The War That Came EarlyEdit

Japanese soldiers serving in the wilderness regions of the North Asian mainland in the 1930s, regularly became acquainted with and accustomed to a wide variety of wildlife which did not exist on the Home Islands, including wolves, foxes, and owls. Soldiers typically came to take these animals for granted after short acquaintance.

However, when Japan invaded the Soviet Union in 1939, its soldiers encountered the Siberian Tiger. They found this animal extraordinarily intimidating, and were more afraid of the tiger's roar than they were of gunfire (describing the roar as causing "even gunfire . . . to pause for a moment"). They credited this to the fact that the firearm was a recent invention, only a few centuries old, so that it was unfamiliar to ancestral memory, whereas a human instinctively knew that the sound of a tiger's roar indicated serious danger.

Of course, the Siberian tigers were far from invincible, and many were killed in the crossfire of the Second Russo-Japanese War. Furthermore, a dead tiger yielded valuable trophies: The internal organs of tigers could be sold for a high price to both Japanese and Chinese apothecaries, the gallbladder being especially sought after. A tiger's coat was also valuable.

During a skirmish in the late spring of 1939, Hideki Fujita had the opportunity to kill a tiger and claim its trophies. He did not do so because the tiger was beautiful and, on the extreme ugliness of a battlefield, it seemed an outrage to destroy a thing of beauty, especially one which had nothing to do with mankind's penchant for warfare.

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