Shing Mun Tiger

Unknown big CAT of East Asia.

Etymology: From the name of the valley where it raided.

Physical description: Variously described as a tiger or leopard but dark gray. Length, 4 feet. Glowing eyes. Long tail.

Distribution: Hong Kong, China.

Significant sightings: In July 1965, schoolgirls picnicking on the slopes of Tai Mo Shan north of Kowloon, Hong Kong, spotted a tiger skulking in the nearby underbrush. A few other sightings occurred in the Shing Mun Valley over the following three months, but search parties failed to turn up any solid evidence. A local man named Chan Pui claimed to have captured the fearsome creature, but the animal turned out to be a friendly German shepherd x chow crossbreed—obviously nothing like a tiger.

Another blackish-gray mystery cat turned up near Sai Kung, northeast of Kowloon, in late October 1976.

Possible explanations: Neither Leopards (Panthera pardus) nor Tigers (P. tigris) are currently known in Hong Kong.

Sources: "MA—Hongkong," Fortean Times, no. 25 (Spring 1978): 35; Karl Shuker, Mystery Cats of the World (London: Robert Hale, 1989), pp. 114-115.

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