China: Around The Nation

Siberian tigers take down drone at Chinese zoo mocked for its ‘obese felines’

Footage of the big cats’ attack at a park in Heilongjiang province goes viral on the internet

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 12:18pm
UPDATED : Friday, 24 February, 2017, 12:24pm

A video of Siberian tigers at a Chinese zoo sprinting in the snow and smashing a drone to the ground has gone viral online weeks after the animal park was criticised because its big cats were obese.

The tigers at the state-run Siberian Tiger Park in Harbin in northern Heilongjiang province were playing on Wednesday after heavy snowfall in the region, the news website reported.

A zoo worker flew a drone carrying a camera within the tigers’ reach to goad them into chasing it.

‘Obese’ Siberian tigers in China zoo raise giggles but also health concerns

The felines gamely took the bait, tailing the drone for minutes before one finally pounced on the device and brought it smashing to the ground.

The group of tigers then gathered around their “prey”, trying to shred it to pieces as smoke was seen rising from the broken machine.

The park’s big cats sparked amusement and concern among internet users and animal welfare organisations earlier this month after photographs of some tubby-looking tigers were posted online by the local tourism department.

The zoo said it was normal for the animals to pile on the pounds in the winter and they would shed the extra weight once the season was over.

Photographs of tigers playing in the snow at a zoo in Shandong province have also been trending on Chinese social media.

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China’s tigers aren’t the only animals that have been recently documented bringing down drones.

In France and Holland, security forces have been training eagles to intercept hostile devices, according to international media reports.