Tigers stay as circus goes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 February, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 February, 1996, 12:00am

TWO of the 12 tigers with the Russian State Circus, which performed in the Shenzhen Safari Park for three years, will remain in the zoo after the circus returns to its home city Moscow tomorrow.

The tigers, from Russia, are believed to have suffered liver and kidney problems and vets considered it advisable to allow them to remain at the zoo for treatment.

They are said to have had suffered their illnesses for more than a year.

The zoo has agreed that the tigers, one of which is almost 10 years old, will not be displayed or involved in any performances in the meantime.

The two sides have been locked in argument after the circus refused to accept the zoo's proposals regarding the tigers.

The circus also wanted the zoo to prepare relevant travel documents in Russian.

Members of the RSPCA intervened after the South China Morning Post reported the plight of the stranded animals last week.

The zoo and the circus resolved their contractual row yesterday, after three days of meetings.

The circus agreed to leave on a special train prepared by the zoo.

The circus has 31 animals, including three lions, six monkeys, 10 horses and 12 tigers.

A Hong Kong RSPCA spokesman said yesterday: 'The way is now clear for the circus to leave Shenzhen for Moscow and all their belongings and animals should be loaded on the train and ready for departure by February 29.

'Should the circus not leave as planned, they must take full responsibility for their animals' welfare,' the spokesman said.