China: Around The Nation

Family of man killed by tiger in eastern China blames zoo for negligence

The walls around the animal’s enclosure were obviously too easy to climb over, says family of man who was trying to sneak in without paying

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 4:55pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 4:55pm

The family of a man mauled to death by a tiger at a zoo in eastern China has accused the management of negligence for not sufficiently securing the premises and the animals’ enclosure where he was attacked, according to an interview on news portal Sina video.

Last Sunday’s tragedy occurred when the 40-year old man, surnamed Zhang, climbed over two three-metre walls and a wire fence into the tiger enclosure to avoid paying the 130 yuan entrance fee at the Ningbo Youngor Zoo in Zhejiang province, according to the zoo’s management.

Chinese man killed by zoo tiger ‘scaled two 3m walls to avoid paying entrance fee’

Although it is not known for sure, Zhang was probably unaware that he had climbed into the tigers’ enclosure. He was accompanied by another man, named Li, who also climbed the walls but did not follow him into the tiger’s area.

Security footage showed at least three tigers approaching a man in a blue jacket and black trousers in the enclosure that was separated from zoo visitors by a moat a high stone wall.

The man was seen resisting and kicking one tiger which had its jaws around his neck and head, and did not let go even after zoo staff set off firecrackers to try and scare it away. The tiger was later shot dead while Zhang was rushed to hospital, where was later declared dead.

A relative of Zhang, surnamed Yang, said: “Even if [he] climbed in from behind the walls, that has to be a case of mismanagement by the zoo. As long as the walls can be climbed easily, there will be people who will try to avoid paying the entrance fee.”

“The zoo bears a certain level of responsibility,” Yang added.

Yang’s comments were not received kindly by many Weibo users, who were also mostly unsympathetic towards Zhang, whom they blamed for the tiger being shot.

One comment, liked nearly 17,000 times, said: “The bank circulates so much money every day, why don’t you try to rob them? If you get shot, you can even say the bank tempted you to do so!”

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Zhang and Li’s wives, along with Zhang’s two children, who also went to the zoo on Sunday, paid the entrance fees.

According to another media outlet, Ifeng, the Ningbo zoo charges 130 yuan (HK$147) for adults, much higher than many other zoos around the country – Beijing zoo, by comparison, charges 15 yuan for adults.

The Ningbo Youngor Zoo has remained closed since it was evacuated during Sunday’s incident.