Shoppers appalled by tiger display

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 January, 1998, 12:00am

Shanghai shoppers, disgusted at the sight of a caged tiger in a shopping centre, have called for the 10-day display to end immediately.

The Hong Kong China News Agency said protests had been held to call attention to the six-month-old animal's plight.

Organisers put the animal on display to raise funds for the protection of endangered species and to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.

A sign on the tiger's cage urges people 'to remember to save tigers this Year of the Tiger'.

But some shoppers accused management at Meilongzhen Plaza of using the animal to attract business.

While some shoppers were attracted to the young cub and donated money - to go to the Shanghai Wildlife Zoo - others said it was inappropriate to keep the 25-kilogram animal in an urban environment.

The tiger, affectionately nicknamed Huniao, meaning 'little girl tiger', was loaned to the shopping centre by Shanghai Zoo.

The Hong Kong China News Agency said the cage in which the metre-long animal was being kept was not large enough.

The agency said shoppers were disgusted by the display and protesters said a tiger was suited to its natural environment and could not, under any circumstances, be expected to thrive in a crowded, urban atmosphere.

Protecting tigers and attracting shoppers to boost business were not compatible, they said.

Organisers at the shopping centre could not be reached for comment and there were no reports of plans to withdraw the display.

The endangered species has captured the attention of overseas and domestic animal welfare groups.