The Tiger and the Pangolin
Nature, Culture and Conservation in China
by Chris Coggins
Edition: 1st., 2003
This work has benefited from the support and inspiration of many individuals and organizations. The Committee for Scholarly
Communication with China provided generous funding and institutional support for one year of research. Before Liberation there were lots of tigers around the villages. They often roared at night and stole people’s livestock. There were few hunters and everyone was afraid. They had to use drums and gongs to scare the tigers off.
The South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), a scaly anteater, occupy ancient and important niches in the biologically diverse ecosystems of Chinese folk cosmology. Both animals are believed to have mysterious magical power and high medicinal value, and both are now under state protection. The two species have also been anthropomorphized, to varying degrees, representing two types of intelligent free agents with very different roles on earth.