Video footage has emerged of a Chinese zookeeper being mauled to death by a tiger that he had raised since it was just a cub. The zookeeper, who Chinese media identified only as a ‘Mr Wu’, was with the tiger inside a large metal cage that was used for training and exercise. All of a sudden, the ‘usually quite docile’ tiger ‘bit onto and suffocated him to death’, an official in Fuzhou City, Eastern China, said.
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Mr Wu, who was a long-time employee at the Fuzhou Zoo, had raised the tiger from birth, and it was thought to have been domesticated through a lifetime of interaction with humans. Horriffic footage, taken by a tourist, shows the tiger standing over the dead trainer’s body while a shocked onlooker shouts ‘Call the police!’
An additional clip – which has been pixelated by Chinese media – shows the tiger clawing the zookeeper while other staff members attempt to shoo it away with a stick. They eventually succeed and manage reached the victim but by that stage, he was unresponsive and was later declared dead when ambulance officers arrived on the scene. Fuzhou Zoo said that the tiger used to perform tricks for a circus in eastern China’s Anhui Province but the shows had been discontinued before the accident occurred.
This is just the latest in a string of incidents involving zoo animals and has led to calls for a ban on the practice of keeping endangered wild animals in captivity. Critics of the ban have pointed out that these animals are usually bred in captivity would struggle to survive in the wild while advocates assert that keeping intelligent animals behind bars is an inherently cruel practice. What do you guys reckon? Does the fact that we now have amazing nature shows, shot in high definition, negate the need for zoos? Or is there still a place for them in our society? Let us know what you think in the comments…
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