Not believing that the heart-breaking video footage that went viral last week of a live donkey being fed to tigers at a Chinese zoo could become any more abhorrent, it did when reports surfaced that the despicable people behind the murder were disgruntled shareholders.
According to many news outlets including National Geographic, last Monday’s mayhem was an unfathomable act of protest by a group of Yancheng Safari Park investors who were angered by a lack of financial returns from the zoo which had its assets frozen by a local court during a lawsuit.
The men reportedly had planned to capture some of the animals, including the donkey, and sell them for a return on their investment. When their plan was thwarted by security, the perpetrators decided instead to push the innocent and frightened animal into an enclosure of hungry tigers in front of a horrified crowd of onlookers.
South China Morning Post
“Since we can’t have any benefits, we thought why not feed them to the tigers, at least we can save on animal feed,” one unidentified shareholder told local media.
The donkey reportedly struggled for approximately 30 minutes before succumbing to the tigers mauling and dying.
Allegedly the cold-hearted criminals had also planned to feed a sheep to the tigers, before security at the zoo in Changzhou, just outside Shanghai, stopped them.
Chinese zoos are known for keeping animals in cruel conditions; locked in metal cages or placed in barren pits. Equally upsetting is the fact that the zoo allows guests to throw food and other objects at the animals.
Although this incident was not sanctioned, zoos in other parts of China regularly feed live animals to tigers for the amusement of the public. In fact, National Geographic reported that one Tiger sanctuary in China’s Heilonjiang province even offers guests the opportunity to pay to have a live cow or chicken thrown into the tiger enclosure.
While Officials at Yancheng Safari Park issued an apology stating that they are working on improving their safety standards, this tragic occurrence must not go unpunished.
People are encouraged to sign a petition here, directed to Cao Jianming, Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China, demanding that the guilty parties face legal charges and receive the maximum penalty.
And please NEVER visit another zoo again, not just in China but anywhere!
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