Safari Park Slammed After Video Emerges Showing Visitors Feeding Tigers Using Fishing Rods
Yunnan Safari Park, in southeast China, allowed visitors to take part in what it called an 'interactive programme', which included feeding tigers.
The safari park claimed the programme was educational, but was slated online after clips were shared on Chinese social media site Weibo. It has now announced it will be cancelling the activity.
On its site, Yunnan Safari Park claimed the activity was an 'interactive programme to educate visitors about nature and wildlife' and cost 30 yuan (£3.43) a pop.
In the clip, visitors to the zoo - including children - could be seen on a balcony above the tiger enclosure dangling raw meat from fishing poles to try and tempt the big cats.
Angry animal-lovers were quick to react after seeing the clip, with one person asking: "What is your problem? Don't animals deserve respect?"
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Another was concerned about the visitors hanging over the balcony, writing: "Even if tigers can't jump that high [to attack the tourists], people might still fall."
Speaking to local media, a spokesperson for the park said no tigers had attacked anyone in the 10 years it had been open.
Explaining the layout, one unnamed staff member told local media: "The balcony is about three metres high and the barrier is about one metre high. People can't fall unless they intentionally climb over and jump off."
It's not the first time this activity has been criticised online, with a post on Weibo dating back to 2013 which reads: "[The activity allowed] tourists to poke fun at all the animals. Wild animals shouldn't be used as a tool for the park to make a profit!
"Where are your morals to make this kind of money? How can you protect them when you can't give them the least of respect?"
In response, the Yunnan Safari Park replied: "Our zookeepers also feed animals like this. It helps us to test the tigers' ability to hunt for food."
Speaking about the most recent backlash, the park confirmed it was scrapping the programme, with a spokesperson saying: "We have cancelled the activity. We will focus on creating better living conditions for the animals and a more natural environment."
Featured Image Credit: Weibo