Survivors of fatal tiger attack in Beijing wildlife park claim 2 million yuan in compensation
Mother killed going to aid of daughter who left vehicle and was attacked by a tiger
The family of a 57-year-old woman who was mauled to death while trying to save her daughter from a tiger attack in July is asking for 2 million yuan (HK$2.3 million) in compensation after the incident, in which the 30-year-old daughter was also seriously injured.
Surveillance video, which was circulated online, captured the 13 seconds in a wildlife park in suburban Beijing when a woman, who was standing outside the driver’s door of a white sedan, was dragged off by a tiger from behind, before another woman from the back seat, later identified as the first woman’s mother, rushed from the car.
In an telephone interview with the Beijing Times, the surviving daughter denied Internet posts that claimed she left the car because she was fighting with her husband, who was driving.
The woman, identified only by her surname Zhao, said she was trying to help her husband who was a novice driver.
The local government later confirmed the mother had died at the scene and the daughter was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.
The video, which was later released by mainland media, triggered heated discussions, as many criticised the family for ignoring park warnings that visitors must stay in their vehicles for safety reasons. Others said the park should be held responsible as it failed to provide full protection to its visitors.
Zhao said she heard the horns from patrol cars as she walked to the driver’s door but it was too late, and she passed out after being dragged away by the tiger.
She said her husband sought help from a patrol car, but the staff did not do anything. The park authority later told the Beijing Evening News that safety regulations forbid anyone, including park staff, from leaving their vehicles in the animal enclosure.
Zhao suffered multiple injuries to her torso and face, and has a scar measuring more than 20cm on her face. The nerves of her face were also damaged, the report said.
The experience caused “irreversible” harm to the family, Zhao told the newspaper, and her three-year-old son, who was in the back seat, talks about the incident.
After an investigation, the Yanqing district government said the tourists should be held accountable as they failed to abide by rules and ignored warnings from the park authorities.
The family said that was unacceptable and is claiming compensation of 2 million yuan, which the park rejected. The sides are in negotiation, the park authority said.
The park has since reopened but the tiger enclosure remains closed.