Frequent attacks reflect issues dealing with wildlife, expose security loopholes

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Photo: Xinhua

The decision to shoot two tigers after attacking and killing an animal keeper in Xichuan County, central China’s Henan Province, was taken out of concern for the safety of local villagers, the office said on Tuesday. local forest, while efforts to trap the tigers failed after they broke loose. The tourist spot where the incident took place has been closed for further investigation.

Animal welfare experts noted on Wednesday that frequent animal attacks reflect deeply rooted issues in the treatment of wildlife, while also revealing loopholes in the management of zoo security.

The on-site animal keeper, nicknamed Jia, was bitten by tigers on Tuesday morning and taken to hospital, but later died of serious injuries.

The tigers escaped the scene but were quickly found, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. Local authorities immediately launched an emergency response plan and evacuated residents.

The public security department and county forestry bureau urgently dispatched tranquilizer guns to capture the tigers, which were then taken to the site by a special team, CCTV News reported on Tuesday.

However, team members were unable to approach the tigers. Other measures have been attempted, such as using chickens containing anesthetics as bait, but these efforts have failed.

Professional animal trainers were called in to guide the tigers, but this idea was abandoned because anesthesia could only be injected within a radius of 5 meters, which at the time was too risky.

In the process, the Tigers had become more and more irritable, showing an obvious tendency to attack and posing a serious threat to the safety of the team. Fearing that they might run into the woods where some villages are located, the tigers were eventually slaughtered with the approval of higher authorities.

The scenic site is now closed for further investigation, the forestry bureau said, and the bodies of the animals will be treated according to laws and regulations.

The attack on a tiger in Henan came just days after another zookeeper was killed on Sunday after being attacked by a tiger in Bengbu, east China’s Anhui Province , sparking lively discussions on social media platforms about good management and emergency response measures in animal parks.

Chinese Twitter users Sina Weibo wondered if the animal keepers mistreated the tigers at the circus, where they were trained before being taken to the Henan scenic spot.

Sun Quanhui, a World Animal Protection scientist, told the Global Times on Wednesday that behind circus performances is usually cruel animal training, and wild animals cannot be domesticated.

Therefore, when animals are under extreme stress, they can exhibit irritable behavior towards humans because they are nervous and scared. However, such behavior is only due to their instinct for self-protection, Sun said.

Others criticized the park for not having contingency plans that could have stopped the attack faster.

Sun said the incident reflected loopholes in the management of zoo security, where tranquilizers should always be in place to calm animals when needed.

“Keeping wild animals in a confined environment will put tremendous physiological and psychological pressure on them,” Sun noted, and people who keep wild animals should consider their welfare and meet their behavioral dieting needs. food, medical treatment and housing design.


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