A video and photos of tigers being abused in a pair of incidents during China’s May Day holiday have caused public condemnation, prompting apologies and promises that such incidents would not recur.
In the video, two uniformed men are shown slapping and shaking the head of a lethargic tiger and energetically jumping on its back.
The state-run China News Service said late on May 6 that the men were employees of a performance troupe that staged tiger shows at Wenling Zoo in eastern China’s Zhejiang province during the May Day holiday. It said the men abused the tiger after a show featuring the animal.
In a separate incident, a tiger tethered with a rope was offered as a prop to photo-taking tourists during the holiday at a tiger park in northeastern Jilin province. One photo showed a person straddling the tiger’s back.
Wang Haijun, a park official, told China News that a tiger tamer made the unauthorized decision to allow tourists to take photographs with the animal and that the park management immediately halted the act after hearing about it.
Mistreatment of captive or tamed wild animals is an issue in China. Earlier this year, visitors to the city zoo of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province were caught pelting two lions with snowballs.