China: Around The Nation

Survivor of tiger attack in Beijing says wildlife park should bear the brunt of responsibility

Woman claims lack of warnings and slow response in incident that left her severely injured and her mother dead

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, 1:29pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 October, 2016, 1:29pm

A woman who left her car and was severely injured in a tiger attack in July, in an incident in which her mother was also attacked and died, said the wildlife park should bear 70 per cent responsibility, Guangzhou Daily reports.

The attacks occurred on July 23 at Badaling Wildlife World, near the Great Wall in Beijing. A 13-second surveillance video shows the woman, surnamed Zhao, exiting the front passenger door of the car and walking to the driver’s door, where she stands talking to the driver, later confirmed to be her husband. A tiger appears from behind her and drags her off.

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The driver gives chase and all three disappear off camera, before the man returns to the car where he is joined by another woman from the back seat, and they run in the direction in which the tiger dragged Zhao. The second woman was Zhao’s 57-year-old mother, who was also attacked and died of blood loss. Zhao was taken to a hospital where she was treated for severe injuries.

Her wounds have healed but she would need more plastic surgery, and it’s difficult to estimate the cost, the report said.

Zhao said her family was not aware they had driven into an extremely dangerous area of the wildlife park because “there were no clear warning signs” and “we were not told the animals would be roaming free”.

Woman in serious condition after tiger attack kills mother in Beijing wildlife park

“We saw a patrol car behind us, and it made us feel we had arrived in a rest place,” she said.

The patrol guards, Zhao said, did not give a timely warning the tiger was approaching and after the attack, they were slow to help and only made a noise by pressing the vehicle horn and revving the engine.

Zhao also criticised the park for its slowness in rescuing her mother after she was mauled by a tiger.

“The patrol car had no emergency medicine and the park had no first-aid personnel,” she said. She also claimed that park personnel “purposely hid the truth by saying a traffic accident had happened when they dialled 120 for help.”

“I was wrong, but I think the park should bear 70 per cent responsibility,” Zhao said.

Authorities rule wildlife park not responsible for fatal tiger attack

The wildlife park disagrees.

A staff member surnamed Cao said the park notifies all visitors of the danger before they enter the premises and all warning sign are clear.

“Nobody is permitted to exit vehicles, including our park personnel, which is why they could only make noises to frighten the tigers,” Cao said.

”Who should bear the larger responsibility is not up to Zhao,” Cao said. “An independent third party should judge.”