Smartphone footage recorded in the city of Hunchun, in China’s Jilin Province, showed the animal strolling down the road guided by the car’s headlights on Tuesday, 6th February.
Just seconds into the video, the animal can be seen turning around and continuing to move towards the driver, then changing its mind seconds before reaching the vehicle and continuing its journey forward.
Terrified over the encounter, the driver told Chinese media: “I was very scared at the time. Why did the tiger come running towards the car?”
He said that at the time, he paid close attention to the tiger’s movements and quickly fled the scene as soon as the tiger continued walking forwards.
The footage became a huge hit after it shared on China’s version of TikTok, Douyin, later that day. It left social media users unable to refrain from commenting.
Douyin user ‘Clicking’ said: “I remember someone once said he saw a tiger, but everyone, especially the officials, didn’t believe it.”
Then user ‘Handsome wandering snail’ commented: “What would have happened if he was on a motorcycle?”
And ‘Mr. Tian who teaches mathematics’ added: “This tiger is not big, so I feel like I could handle it.”
The video has reached more than 42,000 likes and over 12,000 shares as of 9th February.
The Siberian tiger, also known as Amur tiger, is native to the Russian Far East, Northeast China, and possibly North Korea.
It is listed as ‘endangered’ on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species with fewer than 500 individuals remaining in the wild.