1970-01-01 00:00:52

Two circus tigers were shot dead on Tuesday after fatally attacking their caretaker and escaping from their enclosure in the central Henan province, local media reported. The incident marks the second deadly tiger attack in China in three days.

The tigers reportedly mauled the man during their regular feeding time, then fled their enclosure. He was sent to a hospital for urgent treatment but could not be saved.

Staff tried repeatedly to recapture the escaped tigers but were unsuccessful. The animals were shot dead with the approval of local authorities to ensure public safety.

According to a preliminary investigation, the two tigers were owned by a circus in Suzhou, a small city in the eastern Anhui province that’s known as the birthplace of many animal performance troupes. They were rented for public shows by the Danjiang Peacock Valley tourist area in Henan’s Xichuan County. The site reportedly holds a business license as well as an animal domestication and breeding license.

A thorough investigation into the incident is still underway.

On Sunday, a zookeeper surnamed Yang was killed after being attacked by a tiger in Bengbu, another city in Anhui. According to local authorities, the 55-year-old man with nearly 20 years’ experience as an animal handler is believed to have entered the tiger’s enclosure to clean it without first ensuring that the tiger was securely locked in an isolation room.

After Tuesday’s attack, Chinese state media called for better management and oversight of the domestic animal performance industry, which has long been plagued by abuse and scandal.

“Hidden dangers are buried deep in the formalities of training, in the dust covering emergency plans, and in the ‘profit first’ mindsets of managers,” Xinhua News Agency said.

Editor: David Paulk.

(Header image: People Visual)