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China: Around The Nation

Woman mauled by tiger at Beijing zoo hits back at her critics

Woman says her life has been made a misery by people blaming her for the accident, in which her mother was also killed

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 January, 2017, 1:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 January, 2017, 3:14pm

A woman who was mauled by a tiger at a Beijing wildlife park after getting out of her car in a restricted area has spoken out against people who have blamed her for the accident.

She said the people’s words were perhaps more scary than the mouth of a tiger.

The victim was severely injured and disfigured by a tiger at Badaling Wildlife World in July. She also lost her mother who was killed by another tiger after the woman tried to stop her daughter being dragged away.

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The woman, speaking under an alias, told Phoenix Television and two other mainland news outlets that a rampant victim blaming culture in China was ruining her life after the accident.

“A security guard at the hospital said to me, ‘You look gorgeous ... you are so famous. I know you’re up to no good just by looking at you. It’s a pity that the tiger didn’t kill you,’” she said. The large injuries to her face have forced her to regularly wear a mask in public.

The mauling accident occurred in a section of the zoo where people can drive through a Siberian tiger enclosure. Tourists are instructed not to leave their car in any circumstances, but the woman got out of her vehicle and was immediately attacked by a tiger.

The news quickly went viral and photographs of the woman were leaked on to the internet. Many people blamed the woman and her family for not following the rules of the zoo and said she was a textbook example of bad behaviour.

“I was driving in the city with my child and people recognised me and said how dare I still drive around town!’ she said.

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She added there was also a lot of speculation circulating on the internet about why she left the car, including that she was a mistress who had a row with her lover.

“I left the passenger seat to take the wheel for my husband,” she said, “My husband and I were not having a dispute.”

Her father has also been the victim of rumours, falsely alleging that he argued with hospital personnel and had sought preferential treatment to bypass regulations, she said.