2001 - 2002, Save China's Tigers initiated, facilitated and co-funded Dr. Ron Tilson's work in China relating to the survey of wild South China tigers. SCT recruited well known supporters such as Nick Rhodes, Michelle Yeoh, Jackie Chan, Kaige Chen, Jiang Wen as well as scientific advisors such as Dr. Gary Koehler.

August 2001, SCT proposed to China that they use South African expertise to help the Chinese Tiger Reintroduction project.

May 2002, SCT donated infrared cameras and other camera equipment to the State Forestry Administration of China to continue monitoring the possible presence of Chinese tigers in the wild.

Year 2002, 33,000 hectares of land in South Africa was acquired to create Laohu Valley Reserve for the South China Tiger Project's rewilding program.

November 2002, Dr. Ron Tilson declared the South China tiger extinct in the wild.

The Chinese Tigers South African Trust was established as the operational arm for the Chinese Tiger Project and Save China's Tigers and the Chinese Tigers South African Trust signed an historic agreement with the National Wildlife Research and Development Centre of the Chinese State Forestry Administration on the reintroduction of the Chinese tigers into the wild in China.

July 2003, SCT and Cathay Pacific Airways signed a 6 year sponsorship agreement making Cathay Pacific Airways the official airline of Save China's Tigers.

September 2003, two Chinese tiger cubs "Cathay" (named after the Cathay Pacific Airways in appreciation of their support) and "Hope" embarked on a historic journey from China to South Africa for rewilding training.

November 2003, Save China's Tigers sent a South African team of experts composed of highly respected ecologists to China for an ecological survey of the proposed 10 candidate Chinese Tiger Pilot Reserve sites in four provinces. Also the Save China's Tigers Hong Kong charity was established.

February 2004, SCT sent a second South African team of experts composed of resource economists and South African government conservation officials to survey the top two candidate sites in Jiangxi and Hunan province.

July 2004, zoo-born tigers Cathay and Hope caught their first African antelope.

October 2004, another two Chinese tiger cubs "TigerWoods" and "Madonna" left China for South Africa to be rewilded at Laohu Valley Reserve.

January 2005, TigerWoods and Madonna caught their first guinea fowl.

March 2005 Cathay and Hope are collared, ready to move from the current 68 hectare camp into a 600 hectare rewilding camp.

May 2005, SCT launched Tang the Tiger Cub, a book aimed at kids aged between 4 and 10.

May 2005, TigerWoods and Madonna caught their first blesbok.

August 2005, Hope unfortunately died of pneumonia and heart failure.

December 2005, an international workshop was held in Beijing on the Chinese Tiger Reintroduction project and major international organizations such as the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and WCS attended.  

April 2006, the State Forestry Administration of China approved Zixi in Jiangxi province and Liuyang in Hunan province as candidate sites.

June 2006, SCT launched the Jackie Chan Tiger Face Awareness campaign in Hong Kong.

April 2007, the David Tang Tiger Breeding Center was completed at Laohu Valley Reserve. South China tiger No. 327 in the studbook was translocated from Suzhou Zoo of Jiangsu Province of China to Laohu Valley Reserve in South Africa, to supplement the breeding program.

November 2007, Cathay gave birth to her first cub, which was also the first South China tiger cub born outside of China.

March 2008, Cathay had her second litter and gave birth to two cubs.

April 2008, Madonna gave birth for the first time to two cubs. One survived but the other died seven days later due to a bacterial infection.

August 2008, Madonna gave birth to a second litter of cubs, a male and a female. She reared them on her own in a completely natural environment.

November 2009, Madonna and her one-year old cubs made 30 kills in under two months. Adolescent "Hulooo" and brothers, though separated from mother Cathay at an early age, made 21 kills in 18 days.

December 2009, the first cub sired by 327 was born, but was unfortunately taken by a predator on its seventh day.

January 2010, the South China Tiger Diary was published by China Literature Press in Beijing. SCT launched the "Last South China Tiger" body painting by artist Craig Tracy to raise awareness and was an instant hit on YouTube.

February 2010, SCT and its sponsors launched the "Tiger Tram" campaign in Hong Kong to celebrate the Chinese Year of the Tiger and raise awareness. SCT partnered with Wests Tigers in Sydney to launch the Tiger year awareness campaign.

September 2010, SCT held its first rewilding scientific workshop at Laohu Valley Reserve.  The workshop was attended by some of the world's foremost wild cat biologists who discussed the potential of rewilding for conservation.

October 2010, SCT celebrated its ten year anniversary and launched a photo documentary book "Rewilded-Saving the South China Tiger", which chronicled the fight for survival by the South China tigers.

January 2011, a female cub was born to Cathay and 327.

May 2011, two second generation tigers born at Laohu Valley, JenB and Coco, were fitted with GPS/radio collars for study of their hunting behaviour in the 100 ha camp. A collared blesbok was also released but was hunted within a week by JenB.

June 11th 2011, presentation given at the 40th anniversary celebration of Feline Conservation Federation's Florida Conference.

July 2011, Cathay gave birth to two more tiger cubs sired again by 327. The number of South China tigers at Laohu Valley Reserve totaled 12.

August 2011, SCT presented its tiger rewilding results at the annual conference of Society for Ecological Restoration in Mexico.

September 2011, 327 challenged another mature male and was killed.

October 2011, Madonna gave birth to the first litter of triplets (all females). The number of South China Tigers at Laohu Valley Reserve totaled 14.

December 2011, SCT presented its tiger rewilding results at the annual conference of Society for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in New Zealand.

April 2012, the second generation South China tiger born in South Africa "Huwaa" was seen to make a kill during a hunt, a first witnessed kill.

June 2012, SCT, together with Dr. S Montfort, Director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, gave a joint US congressional briefing on the role of reintroduction in wildlife conservation. Tiger scientist Dr. John Seidensticker of the Smithsonian Institution announced at the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI)'s Summary event in Washington, DC that tiger rewilding should be considered a viable strategy to save wild tiger populations. .

July 2012, SCT team gave a presentation on its tiger rewilding and reintroduction project at the International Wildlife Management Congress (IWMC 2012) in Durban, South Africa

September 2012, Princess, a 2nd generation South China tiger born in wild conditions at Laohu Valley Reserve, gave birth to the first 3rd generation South China tiger cub.  The father of the cub was Hulooo, the first South China tiger born in South Africa, unfortunately the cub was lost a few weeks later.

June 2013, two cheetahs were radio-collared and released at Laohu Valley Reserve as part of the program of biodiversity restoration.  

July 2013 - SCT was invited by China's State Forestry Administration to attend and make a presentation at the international workshop on the transboundary conservation of tigers and other endangered species in Kunming, China.

August 2013, Princess had a successful birth of a third generation female cub in wilderness conditions.

September 2013, Dr Maria Fabregas presented an update of her Laohu Valley Reserve rewilding research at the prestigious 9th International Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife held in Berlin.

December 2013, a scientific delegation from the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks visited Laohu Valley Reserve to observe the rewilding program and consider its application in Malaysia.

January 2014, Save China's Tigers' Chinese government partners attended a workshop at Laohu Valley Reserve with scientists Dr. Henk Bertschinger, Dr. Nico de Bruyn, Dr. Maria Fabregas, Dr. Gary Koehler, Dr. Nobby Yamaguchi and other advisors.

January 2014, 3D photogrammetry research initiated at Laohu by Pretoria University scientists.

February 2014, Madonna had triplets, two females and one male, and the number of South China tigers at Laohu Valley Reserve totalled 18.

September 2014, SCT attends Global Tiger Recovery Conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

October 2014, new SCT website was launched.

August 2015, SCT attends SER conference on Resilient Ecosystems in Manchester, UK.

November 2015, two male cubs born to Cathay.

November 2015, SCT and scientists address Moscow international workshop on rehabilitation and reintroduction of large carnivores.

November 2015, scientist Dr. Fabregas of University of Pretoria published important research paper on hunting performance of captive tigers.

December 2015, tiger ‘Delta’ died of injuries and complications after a confrontation with a blesbuck.

January 2016, SCT advisors surveyed potential reserve sites in China.

Save China's Tigers is a small but dynamic conservation organization. When the charity was established, few if any South China tigers still existed in the wild and there were around 50 living in captivity. After observing and analysing how wildlife conservation and eco-tourism had succeeded in Africa, a Chinese Tiger Conservation Model was planned and in October 2000 the UK charity, Save China's Tigers, was established.  Below is a list of the achievements to date:

History & Achievements

Photo: Paul Hilton

2004, Madonna leaves the concrete of a zoo for the grasslands of Africa


The Team


Scientific Advisors




The South China Tiger

History &



South China Tiger History

Meet the Team